History WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids / Literature

16th Jun '17 7:48:44 PM AgentKyles
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!!Books & Book Series



* Author Creator/RoaldDahl could be one of this trope's patron saints, with several of his children's novels serving as near-fixtures on challenged book lists for years. (His adult-aimed fiction [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids falls under this trope's inverted counterpart]].) Particularly controversial works include:
** ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'': Perhaps kidlit's defining BlackComedy, as naughty children are subjected to a variety of dreadful consequences ranging from near-drowning to falling down a garbage chute that leads to an incinerator. While the novel has the kids survive, they're very much changed for their experiences, and adaptations have played with their fates -- they're ambiguous in the [[Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory 1971 film]], and the [[Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory 2013 stage musical]] goes with possible DeathByAdaptation (''if'' they're lucky, they'll get a DisneyDeath or rescue, but only offstage). Making matters worse, the factory proprietor has NoSympathy for them! This doesn't even get into adaptation-specific twists and references: the 1971 film has [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment the notorious boat ride]] and the line "I am now telling the computer ''exactly'' what it can do with a bar of chocolate!". The 2013 musical has multiple jokes about alcohol and/or drinking problems amongst the adult characters.
** ''The Witches'': The very nature of the witches -- a race of child-hating hags who live only to rid the world of them by any means neccessary, the crueler the better -- is disturbing enough to put off sensitive adults.



*** Less visceral is debatable, since the magic quill carves the letters in Harry's skin, and then magically heals his hand. This leaves no marks at first, but then is repeated [[BodyHorror untill no amount of magic healing can heal the scars from repeated cuts]], basically tattooing the words on his hand.

to:

*** ** Less visceral is debatable, since the magic quill carves the letters in Harry's skin, and then magically heals his hand. This leaves no marks at first, but then is repeated [[BodyHorror untill no amount of magic healing can heal the scars from repeated cuts]], basically tattooing the words on his hand.



* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'': The age recommendation for these books - 11, 12, 13 - is surprising to some parents, reviewers, and even older teen readers. Maybe it's the inclusion of decapitation, suicide, torture, mutilation, child prostitution; death by fire or venom, being buried alive, and other psychologically and emotionally disturbing content that raises their eyebrows, or maybe it's the fact that Katniss, the viewpoint character and protagonist, is sixteen and the book appears to focus on the fears and themes most relevant to that age group.
** Descriptions of the author's next book are interesting too: ''Year of the Jungle'' -- about her childhood during UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar -- is picture book for four-year-olds.



* Yeah, ''Literature/TheUnderlandChronicles'' is still a book series aimed at older children, even though it contains a massive amount of extreme violence such as decapitation. Wounds are even sometimes described in explicit detail. Maybe the fact that it's written media and not shown as actual pictures keeps the [[MoralGuardians Moral Guardians]] away.



* The ''Literature/WingsOfFire'' series is normally a kid-friendly adventure series [[OurDragonsAreDifferent in a world of dragons]], with a few bits of intenser-than-usual violence. (Which is to be expected, as the author was also part of the team that worked on ''Literature/{{Warriors}}''.) However, some of the books feature surprisingly mature themes, ''especially'' the third and fifth books. The third book [[HiddenDepths explores]] the character of Glory, who is a victim of an [[TheUnfavorite especially]] abusive childhood and [[BoomerangBigot deeply ingrained bigotry against her own kind]], played very seriously. The fifth book, meanwhile, is all about Sunny, an [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids often looked-down-upon]] [[TheCutie cutie]] who then proceeds to discover [[TheAntiNihilist Nietzchean nihilism]] [[BreakTheCutie after her worldview is shattered.]] Also, special mention to ''Darkstalker'', which features a character who has PTSD after watching his family be massacred and thinks about self-harm in one chapter another character having some utterly horrifying visions of the future, another character whose parents are in a seriously dysfunctional relationship, and an ending that involves [[spoiler:one of the protagonist using a mind control spell to drag his own father out in public and make him cut his tongue out and then disembowel himself with his own claws.]]

!!Creators
* Creator/RoaldDahl could be one of this trope's patron saints, with several of his children's novels serving as near-fixtures on challenged book lists for years. (His adult-aimed fiction [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids falls under this trope's inverted counterpart]].) Particularly controversial works include:
** ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'': Perhaps kidlit's defining BlackComedy, as naughty children are subjected to a variety of dreadful consequences ranging from near-drowning to falling down a garbage chute that leads to an incinerator. While the novel has the kids survive, they're very much changed for their experiences, and adaptations have played with their fates -- they're ambiguous in the [[Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory 1971 film]], and the [[Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory 2013 stage musical]] goes with possible DeathByAdaptation (''if'' they're lucky, they'll get a DisneyDeath or rescue, but only offstage). Making matters worse, the factory proprietor has NoSympathy for them! This doesn't even get into adaptation-specific twists and references: the 1971 film has [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment the notorious boat ride]] and the line "I am now telling the computer ''exactly'' what it can do with a bar of chocolate!". The 2013 musical has multiple jokes about alcohol and/or drinking problems amongst the adult characters.
** ''The Witches'': The very nature of the witches -- a race of child-hating hags who live only to rid the world of them by any means neccessary, the crueler the better -- is disturbing enough to put off sensitive adults.
* Creator/SuzanneCollins seems to be fond of this as well.
** ''Literature/TheUnderlandChronicles''. Yeah, is still a book series aimed at older children, even though it contains a massive amount of extreme violence such as decapitation. Wounds are even sometimes described in explicit detail. Maybe the fact that it's written media and not shown as actual pictures keeps the [[MoralGuardians Moral Guardians]] away.
** ''Literature/TheHungerGames'': The age recommendation for these books - 11, 12, 13 - is surprising to some parents, reviewers, and even older teen readers. Maybe it's the inclusion of decapitation, suicide, torture, mutilation, child prostitution; death by fire or venom, being buried alive, and other psychologically and emotionally disturbing content that raises their eyebrows, or maybe it's the fact that Katniss, the viewpoint character and protagonist, is sixteen and the book appears to focus on the fears and themes most relevant to that age group.
** Descriptions of the author's next book are interesting too: ''Year of the Jungle'' -- about her childhood during UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar -- is picture book for four-year-olds.



** "Mio, my Mio" is very much like the first couple of books in the "Harry Potter" saga. That is, it opens with a realistic portrayal of child neglect/abuse, but the protagonist then is taken to a magical world, where everything seems to be lovely and fun, only to realize that he has to fight a really creepy villain, whose very name is enough to scare people, and his equally creepy henchmen.
** "Sunnanäng" was a collection of four short stories, which all push the boundaries for what parents will want to read to their children. In the first story, two little orphans are painfully neglected/abused. And in the second story, another orphan is forced to live in gruesome poverty among a bunch of elderly people (and she also has to [[spoiler: give her soul up to make a tree able to play music]]. And in the third story, we get a pretty graphic description of sheep being killed by a wolf, and a girl gets abducted by the fair folks. And in the fourth story, a feverish boy (who is very close to dying) dreams about him being a knight in Medieval times, who has to sacrifice his life to save his king's life.
** "Emil i Lönneberga" is mostly a light-hearted franchise, but the last book includes Emil saving a new-born piglet from being eaten by his mother, getting "drunk" when he eats fermented cherries and saving his best friend from dying from blood poisoning during a blizzard.
** Literature/TheBrothersLionheart might still be the worst offender though. The protagonist (a nine-year-old boy) is sick from tubercolosis, but his beloved brother dies before him when he saves him from a fire. And when it seems like the brothers can be happy together in a magical land after death, they have to start fighting an evil dictator and a creepy dragon. (To be fair though, this book has reportedly been a great comfort for terminally sick children.)
** Literature/{{Madicken}} can be rather dark too, especially in the second installment. The neighbor has to sell her body to science, so she can give her alcoholic husband money to pay off the mortgage. Then a girl is publically canned in front of her classmates in school (she ''had'' stolen the headmaster's wallet, but still). And a deranged man almost abducts both of Madicken's younger sisters, and we also have Madicken's crush almost dying from pneumonia.

to:

** "Mio, ''Mio, my Mio" Mio'' is very much like the first couple of books in the "Harry Potter" saga. That is, it opens with a realistic portrayal of child neglect/abuse, but the protagonist then is taken to a magical world, where everything seems to be lovely and fun, only to realize that he has to fight a really creepy villain, whose very name is enough to scare people, and his equally creepy henchmen.
** "Sunnanäng" ''Sunnanäng'' was a collection of four short stories, which all push the boundaries for what parents will want to read to their children. In the first story, two little orphans are painfully neglected/abused. And in the second story, another orphan is forced to live in gruesome poverty among a bunch of elderly people (and she also has to [[spoiler: give her soul up to make a tree able to play music]]. And in the third story, we get a pretty graphic description of sheep being killed by a wolf, and a girl gets abducted by the fair folks. And in the fourth story, a feverish boy (who is very close to dying) dreams about him being a knight in Medieval times, who has to sacrifice his life to save his king's life.
** "Emil ''Emil i Lönneberga" Lönneberga'' is mostly a light-hearted franchise, but the last book includes Emil saving a new-born piglet from being eaten by his mother, getting "drunk" when he eats fermented cherries and saving his best friend from dying from blood poisoning during a blizzard.
** Literature/TheBrothersLionheart ''Literature/TheBrothersLionheart'' might still be the worst offender though. The protagonist (a nine-year-old boy) is sick from tubercolosis, but his beloved brother dies before him when he saves him from a fire. And when it seems like the brothers can be happy together in a magical land after death, they have to start fighting an evil dictator and a creepy dragon. (To be fair though, this book has reportedly been a great comfort for terminally sick children.)
** Literature/{{Madicken}} ''Literature/{{Madicken}}'' can be rather dark too, especially in the second installment. The neighbor has to sell her body to science, so she can give her alcoholic husband money to pay off the mortgage. Then a girl is publically canned in front of her classmates in school (she ''had'' stolen the headmaster's wallet, but still). And a deranged man almost abducts both of Madicken's younger sisters, and we also have Madicken's crush almost dying from pneumonia.



* The ''Literature/WingsOfFire'' series is normally a kid-friendly adventure series [[OurDragonsAreDifferent in a world of dragons]], with a few bits of intenser-than-usual violence. (Which is to be expected, as the author was also part of the team that worked on ''Literature/{{Warriors}}''.) However, some of the books feature surprisingly mature themes, ''especially'' the third and fifth books. The third book [[HiddenDepths explores]] the character of Glory, who is a victim of an [[TheUnfavorite especially]] abusive childhood and [[BoomerangBigot deeply ingrained bigotry against her own kind]], played very seriously. The fifth book, meanwhile, is all about Sunny, an [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids often looked-down-upon]] [[TheCutie cutie]] who then proceeds to discover [[TheAntiNihilist Nietzchean nihilism]] [[BreakTheCutie after her worldview is shattered.]] Also, special mention to ''Darkstalker'', which features a character who has PTSD after watching his family be massacred and thinks about self-harm in one chapter another character having some utterly horrifying visions of the future, another character whose parents are in a seriously dysfunctional relationship, and an ending that involves [[spoiler:one of the protagonist using a mind control spell to drag his own father out in public and make him cut his tongue out and then disembowel himself with his own claws.]]
27th May '17 12:04:51 PM nombretomado
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** Descriptions of the author's next book are interesting too: ''Year of the Jungle'' -- about her childhood during TheVietnamWar -- is picture book for four-year-olds.

to:

** Descriptions of the author's next book are interesting too: ''Year of the Jungle'' -- about her childhood during TheVietnamWar UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar -- is picture book for four-year-olds.
26th Apr '17 11:59:43 AM ctempire
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* ''Mama Ga Obake Ni Natchatta'', a Japanese picture book, is about a child and the ghost of his mother. While the book is intended for ages three and up, some parents complained that it is too emotional and scary for children.

to:

* ''Mama Ga Obake Ni Natchatta'', a Japanese picture book, book from Nobumi (who is also a character designer for NHK's ''Miitsuketa'' and ''Series/OkaasanToIssho''), is about a child and the ghost of his mother. While the book is intended for ages three and up, some parents complained that it is too emotional and scary for children.
24th Apr '17 9:11:10 AM Cake-Witch15
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Literature/TheGirlOfInkAndStars'' has a premise that sounds innocent enough: the PluckyGirl protagonist must journey into the forbidden forest and use her skills with map-making to find her SpoiledSweet best friend. However, the story itself features said protagonist growing up in a town ruled with an iron fist by a cruel Governor (who whips people and does other horrible things) corrupt law enforcers, demon attacks, descriptions of the decaying environment, and, early on, the town being spooked by [[spoiler: the brutal murder of a THIRTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL.]] It's also rife with AdultFear, and features such [[SarcasmMode lovely]] scenes as the search party [[spoiler: ''finding a desolate village filled with bones and an 'X' made from dried blood and dog teeth.'']]
** The book also doesn't shy away with its descriptions of blood, wounds, scars, or how much Isabella's journey is wearing her down, physically AND mentally. It's not ''gory'' or anything, but it still gets quite dark at times.
19th Jan '17 11:19:22 AM Ylana_Starscream
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* The ''Literature/WingsOfFire'' series is normally a kid-friendly adventure series [[EverythingsBetterWithDragons in a world of dragons]], with a few bits of intenser-than-usual violence. (Which is to be expected, as the author was also part of the team that worked on ''Literature/{{Warriors}}''.) However, some of the books feature surprisingly mature themes, ''especially'' the third and fifth books. The third book [[HiddenDepths explores]] the character of Glory, who is a victim of an [[TheUnfavorite especially]] abusive childhood and [[BoomerangBigot deeply ingrained bigotry against her own kind]], played very seriously. The fifth book, meanwhile, is all about Sunny, an [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids often looked-down-upon]] [[TheCutie cutie]] who then proceeds to discover [[TheAntiNihilist Nietzchean nihilism]] [[BreakTheCutie after her worldview is shattered.]] Also, special mention to ''Darkstalker'', which features a character who has PTSD after watching his family be massacred and thinks about self-harm in one chapter another character having some utterly horrifying visions of the future, another character whose parents are in a seriously dysfunctional relationship, and an ending that involves [[spoiler:one of the protagonist using a mind control spell to drag his own father out in public and make him cut his tongue out and then disembowel himself with his own claws.]]

to:

* The ''Literature/WingsOfFire'' series is normally a kid-friendly adventure series [[EverythingsBetterWithDragons [[OurDragonsAreDifferent in a world of dragons]], with a few bits of intenser-than-usual violence. (Which is to be expected, as the author was also part of the team that worked on ''Literature/{{Warriors}}''.) However, some of the books feature surprisingly mature themes, ''especially'' the third and fifth books. The third book [[HiddenDepths explores]] the character of Glory, who is a victim of an [[TheUnfavorite especially]] abusive childhood and [[BoomerangBigot deeply ingrained bigotry against her own kind]], played very seriously. The fifth book, meanwhile, is all about Sunny, an [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids often looked-down-upon]] [[TheCutie cutie]] who then proceeds to discover [[TheAntiNihilist Nietzchean nihilism]] [[BreakTheCutie after her worldview is shattered.]] Also, special mention to ''Darkstalker'', which features a character who has PTSD after watching his family be massacred and thinks about self-harm in one chapter another character having some utterly horrifying visions of the future, another character whose parents are in a seriously dysfunctional relationship, and an ending that involves [[spoiler:one of the protagonist using a mind control spell to drag his own father out in public and make him cut his tongue out and then disembowel himself with his own claws.]]
13th Jan '17 12:16:57 AM Xtifr
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* This is a large part of the reason why ''In the Night Kitchen'' by the late [[DepravedKidsShowHost Maurice Sendak]] was banned from various school libraries and children's book shops: The child protagonist Mickey loses his pajamas for some reason and ends up naked for a substantial chunk of the story, with his nudity uncensored.

to:

* This is a large part of the reason why ''In the Night Kitchen'' by the late [[DepravedKidsShowHost Maurice Sendak]] Creator/MauriceSendak was banned from various school libraries and children's book shops: The child protagonist Mickey loses his pajamas for some reason and ends up naked for a substantial chunk of the story, with his nudity uncensored.
4th Jan '17 7:27:09 AM TudorRose
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Added DiffLines:

* While Robin Jarvis' ''Literature/DeptfordMice'' books feature cute animals, their being targeted at children is very questionable because many of the characters are subjected to violent, absolutely horrific deaths such as being skinned alive, decapitated, or having their body slowly eaten away by a deadly poison.
21st Dec '16 11:04:23 AM Xtifr
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* The ''Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain'' contains death, zombies, human sacrifice and much more.

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* The ''Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain'' ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'' contains death, zombies, human sacrifice and much more.
21st Nov '16 11:39:08 AM FromtheWordsofBR
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* Lauren Myracle's ''Literature/TheTTYLSeries'' have cute covers with 8-bit emoji, and they're about three girls who are friends and are in school, and communicate fully through instant messaging. What could ''possibly'' go wrong?! Everything: language so profane it could make Quentin Tarantino blush, plus mentions of anything sexual you can think of (like masturbation, oral sex, erections, fondling, porn, ''anything''), and glorification of alcohol and drugs. Despite all this, they are marketing towards pre-teens, are sold near kids' books, and have ''no'' warnings on them whatsoever about the content inside. There are plenty of negative reviews on Amazon, one of which states that a daughter who read this book went up to her mom and asked what the word "ejaculate" means. To make it even worse, Lauren Myracle has created books that are much less ambiguously for kids.

to:

* Lauren Myracle's ''Literature/TheTTYLSeries'' have cute covers with 8-bit emoji, and they're about three girls who are friends and are in school, and communicate fully through instant messaging. What could ''possibly'' go wrong?! Everything: language so profane it could make Quentin Tarantino blush, lots of swearing, plus mentions of anything sexual you can think of (like masturbation, oral sex, erections, fondling, porn, ''anything''), and glorification of alcohol and drugs. Despite all this, they are marketing marketed towards pre-teens, are sold near kids' books, and have ''no'' warnings on them whatsoever about the content inside. There are plenty of negative reviews on Amazon, one of which states that a daughter who read this book went up to her mom and asked what the word "ejaculate" means.inside. To make it even worse, Lauren Myracle has created books that are much less ambiguously for kids.
14th Sep '16 6:53:25 PM ctempire
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Mama Ga Obake Ni Natchatta'', a Japanese picture book, is about a child and the ghost of his mother. While the book is intended for ages three and up, some parents complained that it is too emotional and scary for children.
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