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"100 Years of Solitude"
"Love in the Time of Cholera" (both Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
"Lucky" (Alice Sebold)
"Snow Falling on Cedars" (David Guterson)
"Sophie's World" (Jostein Gaarder)
"The Handmaids Tale" Margaret Atwood
I've mentioned those because they're some of the listed books that I've read at one time or another. I would expect that most of these would be of interest only to older schoolchildren. Following the links on the site you get extracts of what is objectionable (I haven't had the time to study but it's a bit like going through the dictionary to find the dirty words). My guess is that most children would give up the book before getting so far unless the books are part of the course rather than just available in the library.
k12 would indicate schools with children ranging in age from 5yrs to 18yrs.
Some of them do talk about sensitive topics, but it isn't like the world outside is all perfect mary sunshine. If they aren't reading it in a book they are watching it on t.v.
It just burns me how parents think they can completely shelter their kids from the outside world! Yes, it's important to be a responsible parent, but there's a difference between using common sense and trying to prevent any unpleasantries from reaching your children's ears! The world doesn't work like that. Now, I totally agree with restricting your children to age appropriate material, but there comes a time when you have to let your child branch out on their own...sheltering your children only hurts them when they're thrown into the real world. I may not be a parent, but even I know that sheltering your children isn't the way to go.
Joanna Colter Books
Hardback 106 pages
- Fictional novel mainly concerned with author’s views on philosophy using actual philosophers/ “deep thinkers” from history (Freud, Marx, Aristotle, etc.) to espouse personal viewpoint
- Various viewpoints on philosophy in book could be found objectionable
- Discussion on sex is generally along Freud’s “don’t feel guilty, just do it” theme: How parent telling child not to touch their sex organs is “sick”, is “beginning of guilt feelings about everything connected with the sex organs and sexuality and results in lifelong guilt about sex and “lifelong conflict between desire and guilt”…
- Dialogue from “philosophical garden” party: “Joanna left the table (pulling Jeremy with her)..They lay down on the grass and started kissing each other again … they rolled in under the … bushes… Nowadays it’s the girl who takes the initiative said Mr. I….he got up and went over to ..bushes ..observing the phenomenon at close quarters. The rest of the guests followed suit…. now stood in semicircle around Joanna and Jeremy…They can’t be stopped said Mrs. I not without a certain pride. …It can’t be helped (said Mr. I)… Jeremy was trying to unbutton Joanna’s white shirt….She was fumbling with his belt…Don’t catch cold! Said Mrs. I.”
1. I would generally agree that there are many books which it would be fair to say that most level headed folks would agree don’t belong in a grade school (5yrs to 12yrs old) library. Many books are clearly written for people who are mature enough to handle their ideas and the ways in which they are presented. Unfortunately there are many many other books which are not so simple. A book such as THE GIVER by Lois Lowry is a perfect example. It was written for late grade school to middle school aged kids. It contains some dark passages and some emerging sexuality passages. Set in a utopian/dystopian society, one of the ways they keep order and health is by euthanizing babies with disabilities. (The scene in which we discover this fact is one which is objected to often by some groups.) Also, our main character is reaching puberty within the novel and has one dream where he is naked with a girl his own age. Nothing actually happens but he is confused when he awakes by how he feels about it all. (This is another scene which is often objected to by some groups.) This book is one that I feel is completely appropriate for 5th and 6th graders but obviously not everyone would agree with me. Who’s right? Well as I seen it a parent who takes the time to consider what their child is reading and make a decision for their child is right… but that’s not what this web site is about is it? They want parents to have these books removed so that I as a parent loose my right to make that decision.
2. As can be seen from the example above some books are going to be appropriate for some grade levels/ages within a school but not appropriate for others. While I would certainly let my daughters read THE GIVER in late grade school, I would not read it to them when they are 6 years old. When parent groups want to sanitize a school library for all children they will leave materials which are only of interest to 5 year olds. Just like a public library, a grade school library serves a diverse community and cannot be censored with the lowest common denominator in mind or nothing will be left many others.
3. Lastly not all children are ready for the same things at the same age. One child might be ready for the material in THE GIVER in 4th grade, while another many not really be ready for it until he/she is in 7th grade. (My general opinion is that most things, within reason, are not going be overly harmful to children who are not ready for them because they will not understand enough to even really like it or know what to do with it. However, when they are ready they will remember some of it and begin to place things where they belong.)
Given these 3 concerns (and actually many more) I really resent groups such as the one behind this web site which try to censor school libraries and classroom reading choices. Certainly parents need to make informed choices and if a parent does want their child to read something he/she has that choice. I have yet to meet a teacher who would not offer a substitute assignment when a parent doesn’t want their child reading a particular book. But libraries (even school ones) shouldn’t get into the business of doing a parent’s job. School librarians make a concerted effort to think long and hard about what is appropriate, what will appeal, and what different parents might want available to their children.
Well… I’ve rambled long enough.
(By the way, THE GIVER is one of my all time favorite books.)
Most children are going to be bored by something that is not age appropriate anyway.
My mother threw away my copy of the Exorcist when I was in the 7th grade. I dug it out of the garbage and finished it. Good thing she didn't know about the sex scenes in The Godfather! Mostly she left me alone with my reading and I turned out only a little weird.
Anyhoo, I've chosen NOT to keep my kid in a vaccum, which means he hears stuff from his friends about things I would not normally expose him to.
"Talladega Nights" is a recent example.
Rather than have him read/see this stuff surreptiously, we watch it together as a family on Fridays (pizza and movie night), so he can be clear about what I find likeable, objectionable, stupid or thought-provoking about it.
Sorry if I sounded preachy, but I love home schoolers!
It requires a lot of work and dedication to homeschool and do it well. I admire my friend who really puts a lot of effort into it.
Kids that I have known that have been homeschooled, including my now grown up niece and nephew have turned out just fine, social and all. He is a fighter pilot and she is a teacher.
There isn't always one answer to every question.
It worked as a good option for a friend's child with a learning disability years ago when the public schools just didn't have the knowledge or inclination to help him.
And, of course people have a right to inculcate their kids with values or attitudes I disagree with.
But I have my doubts whether a child will be "just fine" if he is kept at home and told daily that the world outside his family and church is evil and dangerous.
1. Swearing is bad.
2. Sex is bad.
3. Homosexual sex is really, really bad.
You know there really is nothing like a poorly structured, ungrammatical rant to garner support for your side. Because nothing says "trust us with your children's English education" like an example of how you have failed to master the English language yourself.