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DS wants to read Stephen King

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My 13 year old wants to read something by Stephen King. I'm not even sure why I'm hesitating in helping find something because I love SK, maybe not every book, but I have been a Constant Reader. Maybe because I was the same age when I read Misery and I think it messed with my head. I am thinking the age might be too young for horror?  

And then The Stand, at least the newer edition, there is lots of adult stuff.

 

The kid reads like crazy, and I know at some point I can't screen out books. So thoughts? At what age do you just give them free range and privacy with book choices even though you would object to some things?

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What does he want to read? Some of them are horrifying (I thought I'd never read another one after I picked up Pet Semetary) and others like The Green Mile I thought were fabulous.

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At that age, I'd recommend The Body (the book Stand By Me is based on). But you'd have to be okay with foul language and the topic of death (typical Stephen King).

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At 13, I would have a serious talk with the kid if I thought a book might be problematic for them. I mean, it hasn't come up, but I'd say "Look, I don't want you reading this book just yet because I think you're a little young for some of the explicit sex" or "This book has a lot of creepy horror, and I know when I read it I had trouble sleeping, so I think it might be better if you hold off on it for a year".

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What does he want to read? Some of them are horrifying (I thought I'd never read another one after I picked up Pet Semetary) and others like The Green Mile I thought were fabulous.

 

I think he just wants to try out anything. 

At that age, I'd recommend The Body (the book Stand By Me is based on). But you'd have to be okay with foul language and the topic of death (typical Stephen King).

This is a good idea. I'll have a reread of it. 

 

At 13, I would have a serious talk with the kid if I thought a book might be problematic for them. I mean, it hasn't come up, but I'd say "Look, I don't want you reading this book just yet because I think you're a little young for some of the explicit sex" or "This book has a lot of creepy horror, and I know when I read it I had trouble sleeping, so I think it might be better if you hold off on it for a year".

 

This is a good idea. I might just distract him with more science fiction for a while :)

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13? My son read the short stories at that age. There are two old books of short stories and they are great.  But, TBH, shortly after that, by late 13 I stopped filtering his books. He then read Carrie and The Shining.  When I was that age no one was monitoring my reading and I had come to a time when I felt like I was hindering more than helping. So I stopped.  I doubt that Ive been much help to you, lol.

Edited by redsquirrel
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A quick google search gave me two threads that might help"

 

http://stephenking.com/xf/index.php?threads/good-1st-time-read-for-an-11-year-old.1031/

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/274950-are-there-any-stephen-king-books-fairly-appropriate-for-a-12-year-old-boy/

 

My first thought was The Talisman (it's been my favorite book forever). HOWEVER, the follow-up, The Black House, gave me nightmares.

 

Good luck!

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I still censored at 13. I think SK is wonderful, but I would stick with The Girl Who Loved Tom Gorden, The Green Mile, and maybe a couple short stories.

Eta...I think Tom Gorden is lighter, but may be wrong.

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Just went through this wth dd. Want her to wait. But found her other "lighter" horror to try first.

I had a thread I think on Gen Ed or maybe the Jr high age board that got lots of suggestions. (Try Neil Gaiman to start)

 

Ds started SK at that age, but is a different type of kid.

 

I read Pet Cemetary at that age & everything else SK but man, PC still creeps me out.

Edited by Hilltopmom
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I can't accurately use myself as a gauge for what will be appropriate and enjoyable for my child. For one thing, she has a stronger stomach for horror than I do. I am Legend with Will Smith gave me nightmares, and when I read Bag of Bones and saw The Shining during the same one week period when I was at sea in the Navy on deployment, it made for some very sleepless nights!

 

OTOH, I read things with explicit sex scenes at 12/13 and had no problem with it. (Example: Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel, which has graphic rape scenes). I think my DD would be more bothered by that than I was, so I would give her warnings about such things.

 

But I doubt I would censor, just make sure she knows what she's getting in to.

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13 is the age that I stop screening books. I would be ready to talk about a book with him, but if he wants to read it, I let him.

Edited by LucyStoner
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Well you could go lighter with Gaiman or Koontz. Although, I started reading King at that age and didn't have any problems. There are so many King books to choose from. Eyes of the Dragon is the only one I am almost positive would be a good start. It's been so long since I've read them. Firestarter also comes to mind. 

 

 

We were just going through a list of King classics with our 16yo to read after watching Stranger Things. (Favorite show of the summer BTW!) It borrows from so many of his books. 

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Didn't Stephen King write a book specifically geared towards the teen age group..."Eyes of the Dragon" maybe?

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How about the Dark Tower series? I haven't read it in years so hopefully someone else will chime in, but I don't remember those books being as explicit as some of his other stuff. Plus it's fantastic. I think they turned it into a series of graphic novels too, though I haven't read those.

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Well you could go lighter with Gaiman or Koontz. Although, I started reading King at that age and didn't have any problems. There are so many King books to choose from. Eyes of the Dragon is the only one I am almost positive would be a good start. It's been so long since I've read them. Firestarter also comes to mind.

 

 

We were just going through a list of King classics with our 16yo to read after watching Stranger Things. (Favorite show of the summer BTW!) It borrows from so many of his books.

Koontz is my all-time favorite author, though I don't love him now quite as much as I did in high school. King has some stuff that's not horror. I'm thinking of a really good one that was about going back in time and preventing the Kennedy assassination. That book was excellent- but it's been a long time since I read it, so I can't promise there isn't explicit content.

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Didn't Stephen King write a book specifically geared towards the teen age group..."Eyes of the Dragon" maybe?

 

I'm reading this right now. So far nothing specifically too much for a teen other than round about suggestions about sex and a bit if innuendo. I probably would have let my 13yo boy read it.

 

ETA: I finished the book. Other than the referenced conception of the princes at the beginning of the book, it is a completely tame read.

Edited by slr1765
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I started the Dark Tower series in 6th or 7th grade (I think only the fourth book was released at that point). I also read IT,Needful Things, Insomnia, The Talisman and Black House all around that time (middle school). I don't really remember reading anything quite as adult as SK prior to that, but I don't recall any of it ever shocking me either (the graphic sex or the gruesome horror). I wouldn't say I was particularly numb/over exposed to that stuff before either. I had a pretty average tween/young teenager's exposure to sex to violence prior to that (movies/video games/other literature). 

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How about the Dark Tower series? I haven't read it in years so hopefully someone else will chime in, but I don't remember those books being as explicit as some of his other stuff. Plus it's fantastic. I think they turned it into a series of graphic novels too, though I haven't read those.

 

I saw this after I had mentioned The Dark Tower series as well.

 

There's definitely very graphic sex at least in the second or third book that I remember surprising me that I didn't remember on a reread. There's of course violence through out, but it's not graphic in the 'horror' sense. 

Edited by Josh Blade
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I went through a Stephen King obsession at that age. It, Night Shift, Pet Semetary were some of my favorites. Thinner scared me and I remember putting it down without finishing. As an adult, I loved The Green Mile and 11/22/63.

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I think it entirely depends on the child. At that age, I was an avid reader and read just about anything I could get my hands on. No censorship. But I had a friend and her mom really should have censored her. Some ideas were just too much for her at that age.

 

Sent from my HTCD200LVW using Tapatalk

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I started reading Stephen King when I was 10. In no way would I let my ten year old read him, but she's a different type of child than I was at that age. 

I think it really depends on the child. There is a lot of explicit language in his books, not profanity, just disturbing topic matter (outside of death), and that can be difficult for some to think about after reading. 

My son started SK at around 13, with my blessings. He's since moved onto philosophy.  :laugh:

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Oh, I've been trying to talk my kids into reading King for years!  They aren't interested at all, even though they are both avid readers.  They just aren't into horror.  For some reason, my description of being scared to enter any room with a drain after reading It convinced them not to go there. ha!

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Oh, I've been trying to talk my kids into reading King for years!  They aren't interested at all, even though they are both avid readers.  They just aren't into horror.  For some reason, my description of being scared to enter any room with a drain after reading It convinced them not to go there. ha!

 

I'm with the kids; I don't read horror either. But King's sci fi and fantasy are wonderful and that way they can enjoy a great writer without the fear. The Dark Tower series is still one of my all time favorites.

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I have two 13 year olds. They're sensitive squared. They read all the time, but I'm still sticking with Newberry Award Winner type books although they just finished the Hunger Games.

 

I wouldn't go for Stephen King at this age.

 

Alley

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A quick google search gave me two threads that might help"

 

http://stephenking.com/xf/index.php?threads/good-1st-time-read-for-an-11-year-old.1031/

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/274950-are-there-any-stephen-king-books-fairly-appropriate-for-a-12-year-old-boy/

 

My first thought was The Talisman (it's been my favorite book forever). HOWEVER, the follow-up, The Black House, gave me nightmares.

 

Good luck!

 

The Tailsman is my favorite too. I never followed up with The Black House but would like to now.

Thanks for the links.

 

Lots of good suggestions, thanks all!

I vaguely remember The Eyes of the Dragon, sounds like a good fit.

 

Duma Key scared me so much, I put off finishing it for a year but thought about it all the time.

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My kid read Stephen King at 12/13.  I think it's good to know your kid and their sensitivities.  Sexually explicit is not allowed.  Horror has been fine. 

 

And I have to say, plenty of those Newberry Award winners are pretty dark.  LOL. 

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The worst cr*p I read as an elementary-schooler was the Flowers In the Attic series. I look back on that stuff like :scared: :scared: :scared:, but at the time, it just blew by me.

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A quick google search gave me two threads that might help"

 

http://stephenking.com/xf/index.php?threads/good-1st-time-read-for-an-11-year-old.1031/

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/274950-are-there-any-stephen-king-books-fairly-appropriate-for-a-12-year-old-boy/

 

My first thought was The Talisman (it's been my favorite book forever). HOWEVER, the follow-up, The Black House, gave me nightmares.

 

Good luck!

I loved talisman at about 11-12 yo, I didn't know there was a second! *Off to buy more books...*

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My kid read Stephen King at 12/13.  I think it's good to know your kid and their sensitivities.  Sexually explicit is not allowed.  Horror has been fine. 

 

And I have to say, plenty of those Newberry Award winners are pretty dark.  LOL. 

 

Bolding by me: how long has it been since you've read a Stephen King novel, lol? There are definitely sexually explicit scenes, and, it being SK, they are often on the weird side. 

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Bolding by me: how long has it been since you've read a Stephen King novel, lol? There are definitely sexually explicit scenes, and, it being SK, they are often on the weird side.

Yah. At the top of my head I remember graphic male rape in The Stand and necrophilia in Under The Dome.

Edited by Outdoorsy Type

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I'd have no problem with my child reading Stephen King at 13.   There are some that are actually pretty tame.  

 

Joyland is about a kid that works a summer at an amusement park to earn money for college.  No sex that I remember and definitely no violence.  There is one woo-woo thing in there, because it is Stephen King.  But it would be appropriate for a kid of any age.  

 

Dark Tower series is basically a western, written by Stephen King.   The main character is like a cross between Clint Eastwood and Stephen King.   Truly excellent series.  I brought one of the books to listen to when delivering daughter.  He wrote the first one when he was in high school.   If you can find the audiobook of the first one, he reads it himself which I think adds something.  

 

Cujo actually bothered me more when I reread it about a year ago.   THE BOY DIES!    I was quite young when I first read it, I was so unbothered by that, I'd forgotten.  But, now I have a kid and KIDS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO DIE.    

 

Drunken Fireworks, a short story I listened to recently  that is a hoot.  No sex, no violence.   

 

Good Marriage, a good story but I'd rather my kid not read it.  This one is less than a decade old and I can't say why without a spoiler.  

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I loved talisman at about 11-12 yo, I didn't know there was a second! *Off to buy more books...*

 

There is also a Shining sequel.   Although, it isn't kid friendly.  

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I am a horror wuss, but I remember Firestarter being a good read at that age.

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I saw this after I had mentioned The Dark Tower series as well.

 

There's definitely very graphic sex at least in the second or third book that I remember surprising me that I didn't remember on a reread. There's of course violence through out, but it's not graphic in the 'horror' sense.

Yes, there is a very explicit scene between a human and a demon. Also, explicit language.

 

I second Eye of the Dragon. 11/22/63 would be a good one as well as Hearts in Atlantis.

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The Dark Tower also has a graphic description of a child being run over by a car. Not saying that it's inappropriate for your child, but it bothered me as an adult. A lot.

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