Lots of us started w/ a lever carbine, many pre-safety models to boot, but.......I am not fan of lever carbines for new shooters. The whole issue of letting the hammer down on a live round and the half-cock safety on older, pre lawyered rifles is not fully understood by some folks. Smaller, weaker, less knowing hands can lead to AD's. My early Marlin .357 was a challenge to both my boy and the wife. So much so that we used it solely as a range tool and a step up from .22, single load one and shoot it, eject ... repeat.
Today, for the same or less money, one can find prefectly suitable bolt rifle, w/ youth sizied stock, in mild calibers.
The .35 Rem launches a 200 gr SP at well over 2000 fps. From a light carbine recoil can be pretty snappy.
I've become a fan of 7.62x39mm bolt rifles for starters if ranges will be modest, and the .243 if ranges will go past 150.