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Our public library sorts fiction like this:

  • board books
  • easy readers
  • children's fiction (chapter books)
  • YA fiction
  • adult fiction

but only sorts non-fiction into children's (anything from little picture books about a seed growing into a plant to fairly lengthy biographies, but many more of the former type) and adults' (which is sometimes DS's interest level and appropriate in topic, but often above his independent sustained reading ability level and frequently littered with language I don't want him picking up).

Right now I often use the latter as bedtime read-alouds, simply improving language if needed as it comes up. However, I'd like any suggestions you'd like to throw out about making the transition to adult NF without my having to pre-read every book or waiting until he's mature enough that I'm not worried about profanity as a discipline issue.

Advise me, wise Hive!

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A Good teen/children’s librarian may be able to suggest specific NF books that would appeal to and be readable by your dc and not be objectionable to you.

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9 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

Do you think there really is so much profanity in non-fiction for adults?

I would say not in general--I read mostly non-fiction myself--but I've just read him Thanks a Thousand, Bird by Bird, and A Walk in the Woods--three different authors, all rather free with f-bombs and more, so... while the topics were mostly good for a 6th-grader (I did skip a few tidbits from Lamott and Bryson), I would prefer that DS read a lot of nf without a lot of that language. I mean, Thanks a Thousand is short enough and on an innocent enough topic (gratitude) that I didn't see it coming--it looks like it would be the young readers' edition of an adult book.

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16 hours ago, whitehawk said:

I would say not in general--I read mostly non-fiction myself--but I've just read him Thanks a Thousand, Bird by Bird, and A Walk in the Woods--three different authors, all rather free with f-bombs and more, so... while the topics were mostly good for a 6th-grader (I did skip a few tidbits from Lamott and Bryson), I would prefer that DS read a lot of nf without a lot of that language. I mean, Thanks a Thousand is short enough and on an innocent enough topic (gratitude) that I didn't see it coming--it looks like it would be the young readers' edition of an adult book.

 

NF that isn’t as much almost personal memoir will tend to have less profanity type language.  IME.  3rd person books written about a NF topic.

Books from earlier in 20th century or 19th century will tend to have fewer F-bombs also. (Even if it’s memoir and even if there’s profanity, different words are more likely.) 

 

Edited by Pen
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I second looking for the young readers' editions of adult books first.

And you've got a sixth grader... the vast majority of kids are able to code switch on this really, really soon if not already. As, they're able to understand that some adults in some situations use words that they cannot use in an everyday context. I respect that some parents don't feel comfortable with letting their kids into the world of adult books and you have to decide how to handle it for yourself, but I doubt by age 12 that he'll "pick up" the f-bomb from a book about chemistry. He'll already know it. And either will or won't be using it based on a million other things. The only kids I've known who couldn't make that distinction by that age were not neurotypical.

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3 hours ago, Farrar said:

The only kids I've known who couldn't make that distinction by that age were not neurotypical.

This is a possibility with this kid (who's 11). He has twice gotten into serious trouble for saying something he did know or should've known better than to say out loud, & his knowledge runs ahead of his maturity. Of course he will hear things from other people, but for now, I think I need to screen for things for him in a way that was wholly unnecessary for me as a kid. We hang with a pretty religious Southern crowd for the most part, too, so that raises the bar for what is expected.

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