My latest book selling event, at a Kalamazoo flea market, brought to my attention the need to bring a word of warning to potential readers--particularly parents. An eager mother saw my book and right away believed it to be a good choice for her nine-year-old. I attempted to alert her that I suggested my story for readers 12 and older. She assured me that her child reads "high school books." I believe her about her son's reading level--I have no reason not to. Without any reservation she had me sign the copy for her son and was on her way. It was a transaction at warp speed.
I am aware that some children do read far beyond their own grade level, which is the case with my eight-year-old. However, it's not because of the reading level that I give a suggested age of 12, but there is some content that younger readers might find discomforting. Every parent is different and some may allow his or her child at age 9 to read something like The Hunger Games or The Twilight Series. Not every parent thinks this way. Even though I have no problem with either of my sons reading Jimmy Miller the Super Powerful, I know some parents might.
Readers between 9 and 12 will enjoy many elements in the story. Parents should know that there are some scenes of violence (don't worry, this isn't Kick-Ass), including a couple of episodes of domestic violence. Hey, Annie Marshall, the most important character next to the protagonist, comes from a nightmare family situation that is often true to real life. I was a social worker...I know. She has a mother with substance abuse problems and there is a scene where her mother relapsed. If it weren't for Jimmy's powers, she would have died. There is some mild profanity, but nothing that would make it PG-13 and is scattered very sparingly. Crude humor, particularly of the bathroom variety, also is a part of the story. Not anything worse than Diary of a Wimpy Kid. To me, these can serve as a great platform for parents to discuss these issues. You never know...they could be sitting in school next to a student with a horrendous home life. Worse, they could turn on the news.
My biggest fear is that a parent might grab it and not realize this is part of the story. So, parents...be advised. If your child truly isn't mature enough to handle these things, maybe he or she could wait a few years. However, if your child has the maturity and you're ready to give them guidance, then read on.
I am still waiting for my eight-year-old to finish reading the one book he and I will review together. My next blog post, if I don't have the book review ready, is the number one issue people talk about in regards to my book. And it's not the super powers. Three letters explain it all--GMO's.
Well, that's all for now. Thanks to Dani Duck for alerting people to my blog. I don't just promote my book on this blog, although I do put out reminders. Following me on this is completely free and is part of a recommended stress-reduction diet regimen (not a statement that's been evaluated by the FDA, who ironically tend to approve of GMO's). Be good to yourselves.