Kid-Friendly Books

This is a list of books appropriate for the younger set. I have provided short descriptions when necessary of elements that might be controversial. I didn't include superhero titles unless they were somehow more appropriate for kids than others, such as The Power of Shazam, which centers around a boy rather than a teenager or a man. My guidelines were: little to no swearing (nothing stronger than "crap"); little to no violence; no gore; no nudity beyond the occasional bare breast from Japanese books; kid-centered issues; kids as main characters when possible; and simple stories/text. Books like Milarepa, while clean, I judged too sophisticated for the audience. And some of these books I can't stand, like Magic Knight Rayearth, but I know kids like them. Books with an * signify titles especially good for younger kids.

*The Adventures of Yoko, Vic, and Paul
Astro City
The Big Book of Freaks--good for older reluctant readers
The Big Book of Urban Legends--also good for older reluctant readers
Bob & Bobette: Kingdom of the Sea-Snails
Call Me Princess
*The Christmas Spirit--some depictions of thugs, but always cartoony
Classics Illustrated
*The Courageous Princess and The Courageous Princess: The Quest for Home
Dark Angel--full of fight scenes, but no gore
Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball volumes 2-3--mild references to looking at character's crotches out of naivete; backwards paging might be awkward for kids
Elfquest: The Rebels and Skyward Shadow--for older kids
Ernest and Ethel--the subject matter might not be interesting to kids, but it's pretty safe for them to look at
*Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
The Life of St. Nicholas--same as with Ernest and Ethel
*Little Lit: Strange Stories for Strange Kids
Magic Knight Rayearth
*Magical Pokemon Journey, Journey 2
*The Magician's Nephew
*No Need for Tenchi--some mild nudity, but nonerotic; roughly the same level as in Dragon Ball. One pic has obviously been censored for US tastes.
*Peter and the Wolf
*Pokemon the Movie 2000
*The Power of Shazam
Project A-Ko
Real Recipes for Casual Cooks
Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch--some violence, but the characters should appeal to kids
The Simpsons
*Still I Rise--the kind of book that all levels can get something out of
*Tellos: The Last Heist
Tom Strong
*Too Many Time Machines--for younger kids
*Ultimate Spider-Man
Valerian Spatiotemporal Agent: Heroes of the Equinox--for older kids
*Weed--for older kids

On the Edge: Books that might be appropriate but that have potentially disqualifying elements:

The Amazing "True" Story of a Teenage Single Mom--more for YA than kids with its adult-level themes, but older kids will get something out of it.
Basic Elfquest--though I've seen it classified as a children's series in places, it's more appropriate for YAs as there are a few mild nude or sexual scenes within the series (including a couple of those infamous elf orgies that really don't show anything but have resulted in ridiculous charges that EQ is porn).
Hader and the Colonel--a few scenes of gore
Pedro and Me--frank talk about safe sex that, IMHO, should be available to older kids and young teens, but I know how certain people freak out over such talk, or over books that dare to portray gay people as attractive individuals.
Promethea--I'd rate this a PG-13 if it were a movie. Mild grue, demons, mild violence, nothing blatant.
Sandman: The Dream Hunters--a few scenes and discussions of mild eroticism
Space Dog--One panel of doggie sex, some smoking and drinking, and slightly broad portraits of black characters (who are otherwise treated very sympathetically); they don't bother me and I doubt they'd bother kids, but I could see these things bothering certain parents.

I will be adding titles from my book (not reviewed on this site) as time permits.

Copyright 2001, D. Aviva Rothschild

Comments? Suggested titles? Alerts as to misplaced titles?

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