Wednesday, March 10, 2010

School Reading Lists & Goosebumps

How many have children/teens who have come home with a school reading list? Or have had a child come home telling you s/he read a book you didn't want them to read yet?

My 1st grader came home and told me he tried to read a GooseBumps book and it scared him; I could have told him. My daughter told me she was reading 'Twilight' before I was ready for her to read it. Many of her friends wee reading the series so she wanted to try them. It gave us an opportunity to talk about abstinence and 'why would a LDS person put swear words and other bad stuff in her books?".

One of the parents on my email list wrote that his son brought home a high school reading list. He is a very involved dad and had read many of the books on the list and knew enough that 'Lolita' wasn't a book she wanted him to read until he was much older.
Another book on the list was 'Catcher in the Rye'. He remembered it being an important book, took it off his own shelf and gave it to his son to read. His son came back and reminded him of the 'f' words, sex and drugs in the book.
"I mentioned my son and his experience with Catcher in the Rye. He did finish the book - in fact, we read it together. He read it and we talked about the issues and loneliness that can pop up on a young man, even when that young man thinks everything is great. I think, wait, I know we are both stronger for it. As for reading Lolita - I'm not sure about that one yet. I think there is more uplifting lit out there that he could read first. Time will tell."

Should parents stop their children from reading certain books or genres? Should teachers or librarians?
And what do you want your child to learn from books? How much do they really learn or understand?

Here is what one mother said:
"Adults with (comparatively) safe backgrounds are unlikely to understand the intense and sometimes violent emotions teens feel. That isn't to say that only people who had traumatic childhoods can write for teens, but when an author is writing about horrible situations that teens can and will relate to, they must do it honestly. That often includes discussing and describing terrible things. "

What do you think?


Peggy said...

I think that's something that I hate to have to deal with as a parent! It's very hard to know what the right thing is.

There have been a few books my oldest has wanted to read, but I don't think he's ready for yet. He's a pretty obedient kid, but still, I don't want to say "You can't read that," for fear that it will make him want to. Instead, I explain that books are written for a certain age group in mind, and that you only get to read a book for the first time ONCE. If you wait until you are the intended age, your first time reading it will be much more enjoyable. You don't want to waste that first time on an age when you won't enjoy it as much!

As far as books I don't think will EVER be appropriate, :) I don't know. Luckily, my kids are still young enough that they will stop themselves from reading it.

Daron D. Fraley said...

Taffy, thanks for your thoughts here. You really got me thinking. Rather than hijack your blog with a thesis, I posted my response on my own blog and linked back to yours.

Don't worry, I said nice things about your post.

I really liked Peggy's comments too!


Taffy said...

Peggy, I like how you explained "books are written for a certain age group in mind, and that you only get to read a book for the first time ONCE." I'd never thought of that. I'll remember that for future use.

Daron, enjoyed your post. This topic had me thinking and discussing with friends all week.

Kimi said...

Much to think about. Few answers.

I've erased my too-long post twice now. So I'll just leave it at that.

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