My 13 1/2 year old daughter wants to read this book; I have not read it myself but reading the description of it I am wondering if it is suitable for a young girl...is there a graphic description of the rape and murder or does is it just 'there'? I know I sound like a fussy Mum, and I am aware she may read 'classics' with similar themes at school, but I find it quite difficult to know which adult books are appropriate for young teens without reading them all myself (and I don't have time for that, even though it sounds like bliss!)
The description of the rape and murder are not overly graphic in my opinion, it would depend on the maturity of your child. However, you might wish to let your daughter see the film instead that avoids showing the actual attack, just focusing on the abduction and Susie's soul escaping from her murder scene.
I would let her read it. It does describe the rape and murder scene, but it's not graphic. That said, the general topic of death in the book did creep me out a bit and I'm 17! But I think I'm just generally a paranoid person who is very easily freaked.
Despite that, it's an incredible book and if your daughter wants to read it, let her. I found it painful to read sometimes because never has a book touched me so much, I couldn't stop myself from crying. So it could be hard for her to read, but I think it's hard for anyone to read.
I think it's a must-read - it really made me value life and the people in it in a way that I never have before, and for that reason I think it's a book everyone should read, if only to highlight the importance of their own lives. For example, I've never felt such love towards my family as I did whilst reading this, and ever since I've had a new-found for respect for them. (Maybe a reason you'd want to let her read it!)
Or if you're worried, maybe let her read it a couple of years or so?
A big thanks to both of you who posted. We've just returned from a week in Devon and I decided to buy the book for Ellie to read (after flicking through and not spotting anything too graphic!) Strange holiday reading you might say, but I am trying to encourage her to try something other than 'Angus, thongs and perfect snogging' type books. She enjoyed the book and now wants to read' My Sister's Keeper'.
a very thought provoking powerful book ,full of emotion. read the book and was told not to see movie as would ruin the story,however did see movie,as have my 13 year old son and 11 year old daughter - who now want to read book- it has made them all more aware of life and its value and to be more aware in this big bad world. book is absolutely better than movie very glad we all got the significance, great story.