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Adults are not the only ones concerned with levels of violence and other dark matter. I often used my kids as "test readers" to ask for their reactions. Because they couldn't come to my library often (I work in a different community from where we live) I took home armloads of books, some of which they read and some they didn't. One of my favorite reactions from my son came when he was about 11; I had taken home a graphic novel of Star Wars, to which he and his friends were addicted. I was debating whether to put it in Children's or YA due to the level of violence, and his comment made the decision for me. "Well, Mom, it's ok for me - but I don't think my friends should read it."

I put no restrictions on what my kids read, although there was a little head-shaking when my daughter took up Harlequins for a brief time ("Where did I go wrong?") but we always talked about what they read, and whether they liked it, and why. That is the important conversation.

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