'50 Shades of Grey' for Kids Isn't as Bad as You Think

Between Shades of GraySo, your kid has heard about Fifty Shades of Grey, and they've been pestering you for weeks about reading it, huh? Your answer is entirely up to you. But here's a little trick that could get you a little more time to think about it ... and get them some education too.

Hand them a copy of Between Shades of Gray instead. Then stand back and let literacy work its magic. So what is this? Another novel in the E.L. James canon about sexy billionaire Christian Grey and submissive Anastasia Steele? It certainly sound like it, doesn't it? But nope, this is something even better.


The book by Ruta Sepetys is perfectly clean. In fact, despite its similar title and a host of people who have apparently stormed Sepetys' book signings because they had confused it for the popular erotic series, Between is actually the opposite of the E.L. James book. 

It's written FOR kids. Shelved in the YA section of your local bookstore, Between Shades of Gray is a historical novel set in the early 1940s, when a teenaged Lithuanian girl is grabbed from the comfort of her home by Soviet soldiers and banished to Siberia with her mother and sibling. It's gotten good reviews, and it's recommended reading for teens. Heck, if they read it your kids might even, I dunno, learn something from it (not that we're not learning a little somethin' somethin' too, right Moms, wink, wink).

I could see how the fact that these two books are being confused would be a little uncomfortable for parents. Your kid tells you they're going to download this book about death camps under Stalin, and you're thinking, "Hell yeah, summer schooling for the win!" And then you double-check your Amazon account and realize why they've been spending an awful lot of time in bed with their Kindle -- they downloaded the WRONG Shades of Grey.

But I'm not above being a little devious with my daughter if it's for her own good. If your kid keeps insisting they want to read "that Shades of Grey book," go ahead, get them one. Maybe they'll thank you when they have a history report to write come school time. If not, at least it gives you a few more days to decide whether you want them reading the real thing!

Have you heard of the more kid-appropriate Shades of Grey book yet? Have they been confused by your kids?


Image via Between Shades of Gray

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