I gave an appropximate age category for each of the extracts;
1. 8+yrs child
4. 12+ child
5. 7+ child
This wasn’t an easy task though and I changed my mind many times before settling on the above.
Extract 2 was far more descriptive than extract 3. It takes more time to paint the picture of the pig. Extract 3 is more concerned with the character and describes it in a more grown up way. It uses larger, more complex words; “reputation”, “vivacious”. Extract 2 is I believe aimed at children more so than extract 3. Both could be aimed at adults though.
Extracts 4,5 & 6 all deal with death and violence, but of the three, extract 5 lends itself more for children because the language is more straightforward. The words are short and the syntax is simple; the rhythm and shape of the sentences easier to read.
Extract 6 not only has more complicated words and language but the writer expects more of the reader; imagining gruesome images is fairly tough going. A phrase that felt grown up was “infinite cynicism” and is undoubtably a phrase that adults would understand.
It is surprising that children’s books not only explore really diverse and sometimes hard/gruelling subject matter but also they range in their use of language, the complexity of syntax and imagery. I was astounded that “Lord of the Flies” with it’s adult writing was aimed at children.