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Ask Naomi: Is UPROOTED Appropriate For A Young Reader?

Naomi answers a new question from a reader! Can Uprooted be read by 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.

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By 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 his own SF&F. Follow him on Facebook and @shawnspeakman.

One reply on “Ask Naomi: Is UPROOTED Appropriate For A Young Reader?”

I remember being assigned Clan of the Cave Bear in 6th or 7th grade to read and getting hooked. I loved it and still do. Even re-read the series a few years back when Land of Painted Caves was released and couldn’t believe I had started reading them so young. I would never let my son read that series at that age! LOL. Especially if he continued reading the series since they get pretty explicit. I sure didn’t complain when I was 11 though. Haha. It’s cool to hear you got into that series at an early age as well. Can’t wait to read League of Dragons!