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Common Sense Media: Find Out If Web, Music, Books, Apps and More Are Safe

Scorch Trials Wikipedia

I’ve written before about using Common Sense Media to see if movies are appropriate for my family. Now I can tell you how it works for books! (Which I did not know before this weekend!)

The other day my son came to me and said:
 ‘Mommy, my books from Scholastic never came in. Remember? The ones we ordered for $18.00?’.

I did remember. I looked up the withdrawal transaction from the bank and noticed that after all that time struggling on Scholastic's website (it wasn’t as simple as it used to be) they never withdrew money from my account. I had a record of taking money out of my son’s to cover his purchase (that’s what my kids usually do, they use their own money to buy things they want when they have it) but it never came out of my own.

Sadly, I said, ‘Sorry, buddy, I guess that order never actually went through…you remember we were having trouble that day with the website?’. He nodded. It was a horrible experience, but in the end it seemed that we’d had success. We didn’t. And after you read the rest of this story, you might think it was meant to be like I did.

He was really discouraged about this. I was too. When I asked which books we had tried to purchase (because that was over two months ago and I’d forgotten) he replied:

 ‘Scorch Trials and The Death Cure..’. 


Let me back up just  a bit. Just so happens, this weekend the library called me and when I excitedly told him that his requested books were in (I didn’t know what they were) he said that he couldn’t get them because ’The Sissies’ said he couldn’t read them yet (at his age).

'The Sissies' are his 17 & 13 year old sisters and they watch out for him (and regulate everything he does if my back is turned-Hallelujah). In this case he had taken a walk to the library with his oldest sister and asked the librarian to get those books for him from another location. He must have told ’The Sissies' what he requested (or knowing ’The Sissies’...they asked him). In the meantime, they nixed his choice, citing the books were too ‘whatever’ for him.

I thoroughly appreciate their ‘motherly ways’  most days. They know my parenting style and their little brother's temperament. Also, after seeing a movie with someone else when he wasn’t ready to watch it, he got scared and had terrible nightmares, so we take extra special care to prevent that from happening again.

Now, since I was sort of responsible for turning him onto this series, I had to take blame that he wanted the next books in the series. So I owed it to him to investigate the kibosh from ‘The Sissies’.

I didn’t know what to look up to find out if the books were appropriate, so I just typed in "The Scorch Trials review” into Google, and low and behold, look what I found! Common Sense Media had kid reviews on the book, from all ages!

This was both good and bad news:
Good for me, Bad for him.

When one 14 year old said the book was ‘nightmare worthy’ I had to agree with ‘The Sissies’, and when another child (about 11 years old) said it was gory and much scarier than the first book, I had to say I agreed 100% and my darling little boy would have to wait until he was older.

He was very disappointed...but glad that we cared about his mental state and sleeping ability :)

I did tell him that his honesty about what ‘The Sissies’ said about the books (and library book request) was worth something special. So we will be taking a trip to the Lego store for a little something over spring break.

I like to reward honesty, especially when my child's gut and conscience will lead them to speak up right away and keep themselves from harm. I told him I appreciated it, and that it showed that he respected his sisters, me and most importantly, himself.

Use Common Sense Media for books, TV programs, movies, games, apps, music and even websites! 

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