Thursday, September 19, 2013

You Let Your Kid Read WHAT???

   If you have been reading this blog at all, or if you just plain know me in real life, then you know that I am deadly passionate about books. Some people just think of books as fantasy, as something that is merely an escape from real life, but I also see books as a way to get to know the world, in a completely safe environment. Of course, books are also great entertainment, but that leads to another really important function: the expansion of the imagination. On a scholarly level, building vocabulary, learning new things, and so much more. Books are great, so as you can imagine, I highly encourage my daughter to read.
   Not many people have a problem with that. What some people have gotten all shocked and shaken about is what I let my daughter read. There is not much on my banned book list. In fact, the only thing that comes to mind is the 50 Shades of Gray trilogy. She is NOT reading that. I have, but she isn't. However, I have gotten some stares over the things that I do allow her to read.
  One of the lectures that I got was when I let her read The Golden Compass. A coworker (who is no longer even there) was all over me when he learned that she was reading this series. That book, according to him, encouraged devil worship. And my jaw dropped so low that it hit the floor. Criticism from someone who has obviously never even read the book they are complaining about is a pet peeve of mine, so instead of keeping my big mouth shut, I picked my jaw up off of the floor and fired back. As I have said before, I do believe in God, but I keep an open mind and try my best not to judge other's beliefs. However, devil worship (which I do not equate with Wiccan or Pagan, or other like beliefs, so cool your jets) in and of itself, is evil. The Devil, as in Lucifer, is a Christian belief, and the Devil is the evil side of our beliefs, so that is one thing I will not accept. I don't feel that I am being closed-minded in that regard, because someone who claims to be a true devil worshiper would understand what the Christian belief system was, and would follow my belief system, but on the dark side, so-to-say, and as such would be a person who practiced truly evil, immoral things. (Again, I do not equate alternative, non-Christian beliefs to this, so don't start firing at me.) And this book has absolutely nothing to do with devil worship what-so-ever. Only a person who has not read the book themselves would come up with such straight out-and-out bullshit. And furthermore, let me spell something out for everyone: M.Y. C. H. I. L. D. Now what does that spell? Hmmm.
   Recently, another issue has been Ellen Hopkins. Now, I don't get absurd accusations about that author, but what I do get is: is she old enough to read that book? Ellen Hopkins is a pretty well-known author, but in case you are not familiar with her, she is a poet, but not your average poet. She writes whole stories in poem, and these stories are about things like drug abuse, teen suicide, teen's discovering they are gay, teenage prostitution, and pretty much every hot, don't-talk-about it topic that is out there. So I can actually kind of understand why the question is asked: these stories are brutally honest. But this is were learning about the world in a safe environment comes into play. My daughter can read these stories, and get a better picture than I could describe, having never done hard drugs, about the consequences of becoming addicted. Nothing is sugar coated.
   The lasted Ellen Hopkins book she has read is Tricks, and having read it first, I was unsure of what her reaction would be to the book, because this book is about teenage prostitution. But long ago, we established guidelines for any book. If she ever needed to put a book down, because it was scaring her or upsetting her, or she just couldn't deal with it, she would do so. And she has: a long time ago, we tried The Secret Life of Bees, and the fact that the main character probably accidentally shot her mother, and the abuse that she suffered from her father upset my daughter too much, and she put it down and we talked about what upset her and that was that. This is how we deal with books that my daughter decides she can't handle, so while I appreciate the concern, we have a working system in place.
   Typically, I do read everything that my daughter reads (I am not reading Diary of the Wimpy Kid and that is final). Most books I read first, not because I do not trust her, but because I read so much that I am often the one suggesting the books to her. I am the one that put the first Ellen Hopkins book in her hands; that author is truly talented and I thought my daughter would enjoy the unusual format of the book. My daughter got The Golden Compass from her school library, but the only reason I did not put that book in her hands is because I was unsure of whether or not she would be able to follow it. I do like that book, but I thought it was a difficult read to follow. She read the series, and that was the last time I refrained from suggesting a book because I thought she might not be ready for it, for whatever reason. She has proven that she will stop reading a story if it disturbs her too much, and honestly, sometimes I wonder -- if we were both tested, I think there is a possibility that she might be on a higher reading level than I am, and I am no lightweight when it comes to reading. So my system is, if the books are not just plain porn (50 Shades!!!!) then she can make up her own mind. And as she is my kid, that is my choice to make. I don't get in other parent's faces and tell them what their kids can and can't read, and I expect the courtesy returned.

No comments:

Post a Comment