Ask Naomi: Is UPROOTED Appropriate For A Young Reader?

Naomi Novik

Naomi Novik

Diane C. writes: Is Uprooted appropriate for a young reader? Thank you for your time!

Naomi answers: I find it really hard to answer this question, because it depends entirely on the child in question. I was climbing on the piano when I was ten to sneak down my mom’s copy of Clan of the Cave Bear, but I was also the kind of reader who happily sailed right past anything that my brain wasn’t ready to process: I thought it was all about cool Stone Age survival skills and Ayla being the most awesome with her Cave Lion totem whoo!

(I do think in general books are safer than video in this way, because the reader has to continuously cooperate with the experience — if a reader hits something that disturbs them, they can skip ahead or quit reading.)

Anyway, I will go out on a limb and say, Uprooted is more appropriate for a ten year old than Clan of the Cave Bear. But it was written for adults, and there is violence and death and sex in the book. I hope none of it is gratuitous, but that can make it hit harder. I would suggest reading it first yourself before giving it to a young reader.

About Shawn Speakman

When he isn't lying for a living, Shawn Speakman maintains the web presences for Terry Brooks and Naomi Novik, runs The Signed Page and Grim Oak Press, and writes for Unbound Worlds. Follow him on Facebook and @shawnspeakman.