Submitter: My local public library in Australia sells weeded books for 20c each. I sometimes buy children’s books for a holiday program book corner. Usually they are fine, but I always examine them more closely before donating them. Thank goodness I did look more closely at ‘Addie Accident’. The cover and basic story are cute and magical, but some of the events are not appropriate for that type of book and overall message of the book is problematic.
Basically Addie is accident prone, bullied, unkind to other children and acts without thinking. And fat, which is portrayed as a fault caused by her greediness. She imagines a friend called Hapless Hubert who becomes real, and they attempt to make a potion to cure themselves. Eventually Addie realises she can fix herself – including getting thinner, bringing justice to the main two bullies and recklessly saving her neighbour from a fire against safety guidelines from the fire department, without using the spell.
Not before she causes a different fire by disposing of a lit cigarette she smoked, gets in trouble at school and has her room searched for making bomb threats to other children and has many life threatening accidents while trespassing in dangerous places and antagonising wildlife. She also says her sister thinks her mum makes a dick of herself and sticks her fingers up at her classmates. A real 11 year old might do all these things in a grittier book, but given the tone of the book is cutsie and magical in a way that would appeal to 8 to 10 year olds these actions are not appropriate to this book. Addie still believes in fairies and imagination land. I feel she should not be expected to solve all her problems through personal responsibility! She needs professional help and no more fat shaming from mum.
Holly: This is held by all kinds of libraries in Australia and New Zealand! Can’t imagine it goes over well with parents. You could maybe get away with it in the Teen collection, but it is definitely questionable!