Friday, July 9, 2010

My books aren't for kids

Well, I do have some younger fans around 11 or 12. I even had a 10 year old tell me she enjoyed my books. But in general, I haven't written my historical novels to children. Just because they are LDS novels, and very "clean", doesn't mean I'd advise children to read them. There are certainly adult themes. Themes . . . say found in the Book of Mormon . . . if you know what I mean.

Sometimes when reading scriptures with my kids, I've glossed over parts because of my kids' sensitive natures. They become disturbed quite easily. Some of the events that take place in the Book of Mormon are hard to stomach (just as in the Bible). Ammon alludes to this fact when he talks about a particularly dark era in Lamanite culture when they delight in the shedding of blood and have spent their days in the grossest iniquities (Alma 26:24).

Other parts I can hardly dwell on, such as when the people were so horribly wicked that they offered up human sacrifices (Mormon 4:14) and practiced cannibalism (Moroni 9:7-8).

One thing I've been told time and time again, and have read in many reviews, is that the readers are grateful that I don't gloss over the unsavory portions of the events. I don't hide behind sweet words and brush past serious sin. Neither did the authors of the Book of Mormon.

So, if you are planning on listening to the audio in the car on a family vacation when you have young ears listening, I'd advise against it. Although there is no foul language, graphic descriptions of violence, details describing any harlotry practices, the events are serious and sobering. Redemption is a powerful theme in the Book of Mormon, and I've tried to emulate that in my novels. But before redemption, there must be a fall.

Out of Jerusalem: Of Goodly Parents: Covers 1 Nephi 1-16. In this book (as in the scriptures) Nephi's brothers try to kill him. Nephi kills Laban at the behest of the Lord.

Out of Jerusalem: A Light in the Wilderness: 1 Nephi again. Covers the journey through the wilderness which lasted 8 years. An attempt by Laman and Lemuel in killing their father and brother. Child birth situations.

Out of Jerusalem: Towards the Promised Land: 1 Nephi--events take place in the land of Bountiful when building the ship. Two more attempts on Nephi's life. (Can you say Laman and Lemuel belong in PRISON?)

Out of Jerusalem: Land of Inheritance: 1 and 2 Nephi. After the death of Lehi, Nephi finally leaves his brothers, taking those who wish with him. Because of the severe wickedness of Laman and Lemuel, they are cursed by the Lord.

Abinadi: You got it, this is about Abinadi, who becomes a religious martyr and is executed by King Noah for his beliefs. King Noah is a vile man who keeps a harem of harlots. Alma, one of his wicked high priests who partakes in the evil court of Noah, will eventually repent and turn his life around.

Alma: Continuation of previous volume. Alma is on the run with his followers from Amulon, who, according to scholar Hugh Nibley is the most wicked man in the Book of Mormon.

Alma the Younger: Takes place 20 years after "Alma". We learn about Alma's son, who is born into privilege of position, yet throws it away and turns against his roots. This is no teenager who skips Sunday school, but a man with passion, power, and influence, becoming an anti-Christ who leads hundreds of souls away from the church.

So I will leave the decision up to you, dear reader. As for my family, my two teens (13 and 15) have read my books. My 10 year old has not--I'd be okay with her reading the Out of Jerusalem series, but Abinadi/Alma/Alma the Younger will have to wait another couple of years.


Angie said...

That's a good thing to let people know. I have grappled with the issue of what to gloss over, and in the end decided to just read the Book of Mormon as a family without leaving anything out. I don't know if that's a good decision or not, but it seems to be working. (Just yesterday I read about the martyrs of Ammonihah and my heart just aches. The destruction of the Jaredites is also a hard thing for me to read.)

Heather B. Moore said...

I agree, Angie. Both are heart-wrenching stories.

Sheila said...

Very thought provoking post. We have read these "situations" from the Book of Mormon, so many times, that we forget how frightening/inappropriate they could be for children. Thank you for the reminder Heather.

Heather B. Moore said...

Thanks, Sheila. I do think our kids are more desensitized these days, yet . . .

Debby McCown said...

My girls (19,17&11) and my self love your stories and how they bring our favorite characters to life. One problem I am having is finding the 2 volume Out of Jerusalem "A Light in the Wilderness" in paperback. I really like my books to match on the bookshelf. Is there anyway to find this one anymore. I can find it in hard back and CD.
Thanks Debby