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Old 04-19-2009, 05:07 PM   #1
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Books yet again!

Which books that were probably considered children's books when we were young do you think are not?

I tried to read Through the Looking Glass/Alice in Wonderland when I was a child, and I was precocious when it came to reading, and didn't get it until a Jr High school teacher told me it was written by a man under the influence of drugs. When I read it in my 20s, after a marriage to a drug addict, I finally understood the darned book.

There are many so-called children's books from the 1800s that are somewhere between really scary (not fun scary), incomprehensible, or simply something you need to be an adult to understand. I can think of a few more, but am curious what others of you think.

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Old 04-19-2009, 06:04 PM   #2
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tom sawyer books, alice in wonderland i concur with you, claire, & maybe anne frank. i say for an 8th grader, anne frank is a great book; they wanted us to read it earlier & it was misconstrued at points by fellow students.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:11 PM   #3
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The Wizard of Oz is pretty brutal compared to the sanitized movie.
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
I tried to read Through the Looking Glass/Alice in Wonderland when I was a child, and I was precocious when it came to reading, and didn't get it until a Jr High school teacher told me it was written by a man under the influence of drugs. When I read it in my 20s, after a marriage to a drug addict, I finally understood the darned book.
Claire, you might want to do some research on this issue. I don't believe it's true.
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:21 AM   #5
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The research is done and you can see yes he was, no he wasn't, and since we can't give him urine test its up to you. I just only understood the creature smoking a hookah sitting on a mushroom after being married to my ex (a catipillar was it?). Anyway, too many years ago. Whether or not you believe the drugs thing, the story as originally written is difficult for children to get, much better later.

I agree about the oz books as well. I waded through them when I was 8 or so, and then learned that if I went to the adult section of the library the reading got easier that Oz and Alice. I got hooked on things like murder mysteries and gothic romances and to this day wonder if some books were actually intended for children. Grimms' fairy tales can be grim, indeed. Ever listen to the words to some lullabies? I have a CD of old lullabies in various languages, with translations you can read, and they are vicious. I think one says something like go to sleep, kid, or the wolves will eat you.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:28 PM   #6
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I think some of the "Classic" children's stories were originally written as political satire. When read at face value they are cutie stories for children, but when you look at when they were written, and think about the story line you will find they are fun at the governing parties or institutions
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:37 PM   #7
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Charles Dickens was definitely suggested reading when I was in elementary school, but imho neither his style of writing not the grimness of his subjects were appropriate for little kids.

And Elf, this is not the first time I have heard that Lewis Carroll wrote the Alice books under the influence of drugs. Rereading them as an adult, I thought it was obvious.
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Old 04-20-2009, 02:47 PM   #8
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Back in the day of not mollycoddling our kids, it was more about the perceived quality of the book, strength of the writer, social message and such.
What benefit would the child get? It was pretty much believed that children were able to cope and that shielding them from "life" created problems later on.
And, when many of these books were written, kids had a much more 1st person knowledge of death and pain and life's realities.

Now, they get huge doses from TV, movies, video games... with no way to put it all in perspective..... happy anniversary Columbine day.
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