Controversial Wall Street Journal Article about YA Lit Trending #3 on Twitter!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by StudentTeach, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 5, 2011

    We have never had to go to the school board either, and the only form that I can remember being filled out was the one about Shiloh.
     
  2. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Mopar, are you talking about Shiloh the book about the dog? The kid's dad is definitely not an alcoholic...I just read this with my afterschool group this year. I don't believe the family even drinks alochol at all- in fact, its brought up numerous times (not in a push religion way) that the family is very christian. They mention the "bad guy" in the book chewing tobacco and drinking beer (as in one beer), but it's painted as a definite negative, and it's nowhere near "alcoholism" or a large part of the story line at all. This is one of my favorite books of all time to read with kids because it raises so many ethical/moral questions...the discussions you can have are fascinating!

    To respond to the original question, I think this is a very tricky topic. On the one hand, of course I don't support kids/young teens reading extremely graphic sex scenes or things of that nature. On the other hand, if we start censoring, where do we draw the line? There are many parents that have issues with Harry Potter and Twilight because they have "magic" in them. Do we have to honor thier wishes in censorship too? My mom teaches at a christian school and she had a parent who didn't want her child reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe because it had a witch in it. The funny part is, the book is pretty much interpeted as a christian allegory. The parent saw the word witch and refused to read it or hear anything else about it.

    I grew up in the suburbs. My school was 100% white middle class kids. Sheltered is an understatement. We often read books like Tears of a Tiger (I think thats it?) that talked about things like abuse or problems of the "real world." Without these books, I can honestly say I might not know about these things.

    As far as books about cutting and eating disorders, those are tricky as well. My best friend growing up suffered from bulimia. She got the idea to start throwing up from a book she read about it. She used to read books about girls with eating disorders as a way to trigger herself farther into the eating disorder. I know cutting is often the same way.

    In short, this isn't an issue I can really say that I can say I firmly believe one side over the other. Sure, there are things that young teens shouldn't be reading. However, censorship is a very, very slippery slope.
     
  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    waterfall---that is the exact book I'm talking about. I think that the original owner drinks and so this parent didn't think that this book should be discussed in class because students shouldn't be exposed to alcohol in literature.

    I honestly don't think that this parent ever read the book, I think she read a review or just took her child's word.
     
  4. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 5, 2011

    I was so saddened-just for the sake of literature-that Barnes and Noble has a whole sectioned entitled "teenage paranormal romance". That there are that many books it makes up a whole section. ;)

    I very clearly remember reading Carrie in 7th Grade and the teacher asked me if my mom knew I was reading that--she's the one who gave it to me. I loved that genre and read constantly so I was reading more adult books as a teenager. I am the straightest arrow you ever met-it didn't damage me at all. Some of the things they discuss in the article-cutting, abuse, etc. you can watch on lifetime movies. As others have said, it could be that someone finds out another is suffering the way they are and get help (or maybe just solace) from that.

    The fact is life for these teens is much different than it was for us-they are dealing with things today we didn't even know existed. They are growing up much faster (literally developing faster) and I think the literature world is just sensing that. I think things like that will always be published (and have the right to be published), it's just our job to monitor what our kids read.
     
  5. dibba

    dibba Rookie

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    Jun 5, 2011

    I'm sure the book with the female cave orgy was done in a tasteful artist manner.
     
  6. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Jun 5, 2011

    No teacher on this site was advocating for that -- she said someone else had recommended to it her.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    The comment said that it was marketed for middle school students, not that the teacher would recommend that middle school students read this.
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I always laugh when I recommend a book for our school library and I'm told that it's not approved for young adults. Most of what I recommend has few curse words, no explicit sex or graphic violence, but because they are "adult" books they can't be included.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that's the difference.

    What I allow my childen to read is my choice. I may choose to expose them to something disturbing, or something others would find disturbing.

    But what a teacher chooses to assign to a class full of someone else's children is a different matter. That teacher isn't dealing with the 3 am nightmares, and probably isn't even aware of them.

    Different kids have different sensibiities. Some of the things in some of those "young adult"novels would disturb me, and I would choose NOT to read them-- I simply don't have the stomach for that stuff. I most certainly am NOT going to force my 11 year old daughter to read them.

    The fact that my 11 year old daughter may have access to those LIfetime movies does NOT mean that SHE is watching them. Perhaps some of her classmates are; that's their parent's call. Mine is more likely to be outside on her bike.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm very careful about what I choose to give my students to read, and I never assign books without reading them first. I know that they see and hear worse things than are in any of the books I give them to read. That doesn't mean I give it to them.

    I have only twice recommended books to students that I wouldn't give them to read in class. In both cases, the subject matter was important for the student and I spoke with parents before making the recommendation.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    That makes total sense to me. Kids are NOT one size fits all. So I think that we, as teachers, have to accept that what's appropriate and helpful for one child may very well be too much for another.
     

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