One of literature’s most important prizes has gone to a book called ‘The Bunker Diaries’ named a ‘vile’ teen book by critics. This is a result of drugging, murder, attempted rape and control, and, although it sounds very dark, I read the synopsis and I was surprised to find myself interested. However, some critics say that teen fiction is becoming too dark, despite the award.
A Wrenn School pupil called Amber says that “Children should know about what happens, and if something happens, they should understand.”
Similar to Amber, another pupil called Quddos says “What if it happens to them and they don’t know?”
To be honest, I agree: Why should children be kept away from this? One day we’ll all be adults, and we might not live with our parents. We’ll be responsible, and we should be educated on the dark possibilities. Because, if they grew up thinking the world was full of unicorns, that we could go round to anyone’s houses or that everyone was our best friend, then, as tempting as it would be to believe, it wouldn’t be true. Although many people may disagree, and I respect that, making a child aware of the real, non-Cbeebies land, may protect them from what is really there.
Despite everything I have just said, I don’t believe that small children should be bombarded with these subjects. Things like swear words? I think that it is OK for them to be occasionally demonstrated in the right context. Not thrown about because it seems funny. It certainly isn’t funny when it becomes offensive.
Do you prefer a happy ending? Or a sad ending? Or does it not matter, so long as it’s a good book?