Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Do you think YA books should have ratings?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by Cambria @ CambriaHebert.com.
Each week there will be a new question to answer and share.  This is a great way for bloggers to get to know one another.

This week's question: 
 Do you think YA books should have ratings?

My Answer: 

What a great question - one that really makes me think!  

My first thought was, I'd like to say no, because if it is for a young adult audience, shouldn't the author gear it there appropriately?  But then I got to thinking, a young adult audience is so very vast in age group.  And depending on the maturity of the individual, the content could be vast as well.  

In saying this, now I'd have to say yes.  It would be a grand idea to place some type of rating system in place for not only YA novels, but all novels.  My thoughts on a rating system is a little different though than what would be considered a "rating" so to speak.  I was thinking more like listing the type of content that could be encountered:  graphic violence, sexual content, adult language, etc.  

I hate to tell I teen that they can't read a book, when we as teachers have such a hard time getting many of them to read to begin with.  Also, many of the classics that we encourage students to read have what might me considered offensive material.  I think if we get too far in a rating system, we could be looking at the banned book issue again!  I'd hate that thought!!!

I guess a rating system could get a little crazy, but they do it for movies, why not books.  And as I commented above, I don't think it should be limited to YA.  I don't think it would hurt to do it to all books.  That way a reader could pick it up and see if it is truly the type of content they wish to read.  Sometimes the blurb on the back or inside cover does not pick up on all of the possibilities.  The blurb is there to attract a reader, not to warn them.  

So many thoughts going on in my mind, but I don't want to ramble - so I will stop with that.  

I'm anxious to see what others have to say!!!
What are your thoughts?


  1. I don't read much YA but I do get confused at what audience exactly they're for. Personally I see YA as being for around 16 up maybe or a bit older because a young adult is technically around 18 years old. Take the Hunger Games for example, its quite a gory book but the film version was toned down to meet a 12A (here in the UK) rating. A YA book/film should be aimed towards the age group and like I said I believe that to be around 16 up.

  2. I like your idea of rating the content for all books. There have been times where I've been surprised by what I'm reading (sometimes not in a good way). I do agree with Becca above that books and films geared towards the YA group (which I consider 14+) should be consistent in their content. The Hunger Games is a perfect example for the reason she cited. :)

  3. Good point the rating system should extend into the adult category so when you pick up a book with excessive violence ormsexual content you are not caught off guard but I would never want it to be used as a means to ban books. Banning books is wrong!

  4. I really like the content rating idea... it gives not only parents, but everyone a chance to decide if a book is really for them.

    I totally get your point about being reluctant to tell teens not to read something, especially when it can be difficult to get them into books in the first place.

    Some very interesting points in your post. :-)

  5. And therein lies the problem with the rating system. Once things are rated like movies who will judge who gets to be the audience? I think if rating system must happen do it like HBO- say what is in it S(sexual content), N(nudity), V(violence). This way people can choose what they want to read and no ones beliefs are infringed upon.

  6. So sorry I am a week late but I was moving and buried under boxes! LOL. I totally agree that if ratings on books are done then it should be ALL books not just YA. Equality among ratings and books! LMAO!!
    But seriously, I see your points here. And I also think it would be a shame to tell a teen not to read soemthing bc it is hard to get them to read at all and it should be encouraged. What a fascinating question it was this week.
    This week's TMST question is up!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...