Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Would Tales of the Dim Knight Be A Good Book for My Kids?

By Adam and Andrea Graham

Frankly, the appropriateness of Tales of the Dim Knight for children depends on the individual child as well as the standards of the parent. The intended audience is the young at heart, as the novel pays humorous tribute to superheroes the authors watched and read about when they were children.

In retrospect, we do see the appeal to kids. Dim Knight is a funny story with a lot action and adventure. So, while our book wasn't written for children, it can be read by teens with parental guidance.

For many parents, this disclosure may prove unnecessary. If Tales of the Dim Knight were a movie, I’d rate it PG-13. In fact, in terms of language and sexual content, the book is cleaner than most PG movies. However, others may have different convictions. The movie, Pamela's Prayer extolled the virtues of chastity before marriage to the point that the heroine didn't kiss a man until the day she was married. One would think no one would complain about a movie like that not being clean enough. However, A reviewer wrote on Amazon:

based on the good reviews that I read on Amazon and on what friends

told me, I thought that this movie would be good viewing for my

family. was I wrong! the whole movie is about kissing, about guys

trying to kiss girls, and about girls not sure if they should kiss or

not and on and on. it started fine, but ten minutes in I knew that it

was not appropriate for my family, but my wife said 'no no no' and

made me keep it on, and I hoped that it would get better. but it just

got worse.

what a disaster! wouldn't you know it, as soon as the

movie is over, my kids start asking 'how do you kiss,' 'why do you

kiss' and on and on. pretty soon, they were running around the house

pretending to kiss everything - the animals, the pets, each other.

While I don't think there's any chance of Tales of the Dim Knight prompting your child to kiss your dog, I do want to be sensitive to varying parental standards. My goal is to empower parents with the information they need to make an informed decision for their children based on what they think is best.

First, consider the favorable reasons parents might want to get the book for their teens:

1) It is fun and fast paced

This can be a big selling point, particularly for boys. It can be tough to get teen boys interested in reading. Indeed, boys lag in reading. This can be caused by reading material that doesn't interest boys. This book will.

2) It is Clean

The book is generally clean. There's no profanity or sex in the story. While the violence may be of concern to parents, it is far tamer than much what is out there in young adult fiction.

3)Solid Messages

Dim Knight has a powerful message of grace and redemption. Dave learns what it really takes to be a superhero, the proper use of power, and what justice really means. The story also shows the importance of forgiveness and sacrifice.

All of this, while offering readers laughs throughout.

Second, consider those issues that may concern some parents:

Violence: As in any good superhero story, in Tales of the Dim Knight, evil uses a lot of dangerous weapons, high explosives, and even an atom bomb. While we aimed to avoid being too graphic, there's plenty of punching, kicking, shooting, whipping, and blowing up, with some casualties. If you've seen any of the recent Spider-Man movies, you have an idea of what to expect.

Drugs and Alcohol: Drug dealers are a major feature in the story, and there's a little drinking.

Mature Themes: Trouble brews in the main characters’ marriage, with a man-hating divorce attorney named Leona Campbell pushing Naomi Johnson towards a divorce based on false allegations of adultery. The book also deals with people grappling with grief and loss after the death of a loved one. The damaging effects of spiritual and emotional abuse are also portrayed, and the Dim Knight goes up against a gang involved in human trafficking.

You may feel that your child is not mature enough to deal with some of these issues. On the other hand, your child's world may have already been impacted by some of these issues, and you may feel it'd be good for him or her to read a book addressing them. You may want to consider previewing the book before giving it to your child to see if you think its right for your child.

Whatever you decide, we respect your decision, and pray God will continue to give you wisdom and grace in raising your children.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, thank you so much for this honest review! My 10 year old daughter has to read a fantasy book for school, and it is so difficult to know what would be appropriate for her based on our family's values. I wish I could find honest reviews like this on all books for my children. Thank you SO much for taking the time to write this. Your honesty makes me want to buy the book and read it for myself, and fantasy is not a genre I would ever go out of my way to read. Thank you, thank you... I pray I find the right one for her, and that I would be blessed to find more helpful reviews such as this one!