Thorny tale

6th October 1995 at 01:00
I was surprised to discover that my 12-year-old daughter is reading Laurie Lee's Cider With Rosie as a set book. I had thought this was a GCSE book. I liked the story when I read it, but looking at it again I see there is a planned rape.

Are there not more suitable texts? Re-reading the book I see how dated it is in terms of what is considered acceptable - the planned assault on a "simple-minded" girl is the prime example. This last part of the book is concerned with the sexual development of a young boy. I wonder how appropriate it is for girls anyway, as it rather limits itself to a boy's concerns.

The point is that this book is being thrust upon someone who does not have this awareness at the moment nor, I think, the interest.

I believe this is a book for 14-year-olds upwards, and if it was kept to this age it would be far more acceptable.

P BROWN

9 West Grove

London SE10

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