Is Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe too much for kids?
Leave it to Edgar Allan Poe to stir up a controversy. Some adult readers of Hop-Frog believe the story is unsuitable for our main target audience, middle-school readers. No doubt, Hop-Frog is a disturbing tale. It is unlike all the other books in the Adapted Classics collection to date, all of which contain at least an ample amount of humor (and that includes Edgar Allan Poe’s Thou Art the Man).
Nothing Funny about Hop-Frog
There is nothing funny about Hop-Frog. It is a story about maltreatment and revenge. And true to Poe’s typical story-telling mode, the climax of the story is particularly disturbing. But also typically, it is good. Fast-paced and gripping, the story includes the issues of injustice, bullying, and revenge. These are thought-provoking issues and ripe for discussion with readers at every age within the middle-school range.
Be forewarned, however. Hop-Frog might be too much of a scare or too disturbing on many levels for the youngest of middle-grade readers without supervised discussion of the issues the story raises and explores. But that doesn’t mean parents or teachers should avoid it. The risks to youth reading this story are minimal as long as an adult accompanies them on their reading adventure. Plus, adventurous stories attract kids. And that certainly goes for adventures that have some disturbing content.
Education experts say the key challenge always comes down to making young people want to read. We know kids like Edgar Allan Poe, just like their parents did. And still do! So have some fun with your children or students. Introduce them too Edgar Allan Poe via our illustrated version of Hop-Frog.« Back