Over on his blog, Nathan Bransford is asking people if children’s books should have ratings, the way films and video games do.
Me, I think this misses the point. Books don’t need ratings stating which age groups they are appropriate for. All that does is embarrass readers who are enjoying a well-written adventure that lacks cursing or violence, and makes kids seek out forbidden ratings.
What I want are labels. Here is my suggested list:
Rated S: Contains stereotypes
Rated HP: Contains “helpless princess” characters who must be rescued by a male character.
Rated J: Contains Jingoistic attitudes toward foreign peoples/governments
Rated MN: Contains “Magic Negro” character with no life beyond the assistance character gives to Our Hero
Rated DA: Contains dead animal for purposes of unbearable pathos
Rated DV: Contains characters and plotting that you’re seen a hundred times before, but might be new to an 8-yo.
Rated LM: Lacks Monsters or other supernatural elements.
Rated MBS: Mocks Belief Systems
Rated NF: Not as Funny as it thinks it is.
Any others I should have included?