April 09, 2007

Keeping it clean

Thanks to Liz at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy, I just learned about a new blog, Deliciously Clean Reads, from Emily at Whimsy Books, where she writes "about picture books, motherhood, and writing". Emily, who's looking for contributors for the new blog, describes its mission this way,
All reviewed books at Clean Reads must be free of swearing and sex (including thinking or talking about sex in an explicit manner.) I know that profanity is a bit subjective. A book may qualify as a Clean Read if it has less than five "strong words found in the Bible" (i.e. da** or he**). Any curse words besides these "strong words found in the Bible" automatically disqualify the book for Clean Read status.

Essentially, if books were rated as movies, we'd only accept reviews of G and PG books (and yes, even some PGs have more swearing/innuendos than we allow here at Clean Reads). If you aren't sure if a book is Clean Read material, you can email me at any time and note any passages in question that may render the book inappropriate for our site.

Clean Reads can be from any genre of novel-length fiction. Please include a recommended age group after your review. (i.e. Recommended Readers: 12 and up)
Over at Whimsy Books, Emily also notes,
I'm the kind of person that hates conflict. And I'm sure a few of my readers will think this is a bad idea and may even call it a subtle form of censorship. But I'm not starting cleanreads.blogspot.com to keep people from reading anything. It is meant to be a resource for those who choose to read clean books.
The new blog already includes some reviews, for current and out of print books -- including a few for books that would definitely be of interest around here (A Shooting Star: A Novel about Annie Oakley by Sheila Solomon Klass -- which does still seem to be in print in surprisingly inexpensive library binding -- and the new Misadventures of Maude March by Audrey Couloumbis) --- and, on the sidebar, Lists of Clean Reads, including the Squeaky Clean and Books That Don't Make You Blush. In addition to Emily, there are four contributors at the moment, among them a few book blogs, two Beckys, and at least one home educator. Not yours truly, though, who has been known to make truck drivers blush and to let her young children watch The Magnificent Seven, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and The Getaway, the last two on Christmas Day 2005 and 2006, respectively. And who actually stopped to wonder about any possible overlap between the Bible's five strong words and George Carlin's seven dirty ones. I blame too much Easter chocolate.

It strikes me that Deliciously Clean might be quite helpful for a) families with several kids, who want to make sure that the chosen readaloud is suitable even for the youngest listener, and b) parents of voracious and/or precocious young readers.

At the other end of this similar vein, Sherry at Semicolon has a straight shooting review of Nick and Norah (no, not that Nick and Nora), with a thoughtful comment by Camille of Book Moot.

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