professornana (professornana) wrote,

To everything there is a season

Or as the Byrds sang, "Turn, turn turn."  Saw a tweet about the fact the using complex texts is better than using simple ones, that rigor makes the reading more interesting.  Um, kinda.  Sometimes.  Maybe.  Why am I hedging? Simple: sometimes I need a break and want to read easy.  For instance, on this trip to St. Louis for the YALSA Lit Symposium I packed the new tellings of Grimm by Philip Pullman.  Read about a dozen on the flight from Houston and I am LOVING each and every minute of it.  Now I am reading both the simple (the tales) ad the complex (Pullman's commentaries and notes).  I also brought along the new CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS as well.  I know that by the end of the day Saturday I will need something light as my brain will be bursting from the presentations.

I think kids deserve the same.  There is a time for the simple and silly and time for the complex and complicated.  Why does all school reading have to be "good for you" books?  Why, also, do we feel the need to relegate YA and children's lit to reading for pleasure?  Recently, someone remarked to me after a booktalk that it was nice to know reluctant and struggling readers had some good books from which to select.  The booktalk, by the way, included Leslea Newman's October Mourning and Adam Rapp's THE CHILDREN AND THE WOLVES.  I see this disregard for "popular" (another put down) literature often.  CCSS has made it even more prevalent I fear.

We need to help people down off those high horses and open their eyes to the wonder of children's and YA literature.  We need to stand up, too, and not just defend these books but demonstrate how essential they are to lifelong readers.  I do not have much time for adult books, but when I do it tends to be Stephen King I read.  To date, no one has called me out as being an indolent reader.  Let's give kids this same courtesy.  
Tags: books, ccss, reading, rigor
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