professornana (professornana) wrote,

Speak Loudly and Use some Common Sense

There is a kerfuffle about required summer reading in a school district. You can read about it here: Basically a parent is up in arms bout 1 of the books incoming freshmen were to read over the summer. I want to stop here and make it perfectly clear that giving kids a choice of TWO WHILE BOOKS is not choice. It is too narrow and is, in effect, its own form of censorship by narrowing what kids might elect to read over the summer. But, that point aside, the book in question has now been branded as "trash."

The books are intended for Honors English to prepare them for LORD OF THE FLIES and ROMEO AND JULIET. Kids have to take a test over the book they selected when they return to school. SO, so, so much is wrong here. First, if the idea behind summer reading is to prepare kids for other books they will tackle in class, why not offer some books that reflect the themes of R&J or LOTF? I can list quite a few. How about IF YOU COME SOFTLY or ROMIETTE AND JULIO? What about BEAUTY QUEENS or NOTHING or even HUNGER GAMES? I could go on, but then I read a lot. Apparently, some other folks simply don't or have not read widely.

Also, why is there a test over the books? What manner of questions will be asked? How will it be scored?

After the complaint was filed, a third book was added as another choice, A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN. Most recently, they also added SPEAK. ALL OF THIS WAS DONE WITHOUT FOLLOWING POLICY. Perhaps this is the greatest sin of all?

SpeakLoudly when you see these pieces, folks. We need to decry the censorship. We need to also decry the narrowing of book choices.
Tags: censorship, idiocy, summer reading
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