Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Four

1. Maybe by doing a Friday four (cause I’m not sure I can come up with five) I can find something to blog about every week. Winking smile

2. I got a return email from the teacher (see previous post if you’re confused). She was very kind, but said she hadn’t ever had a parent complain about The Hunger Games before. She read it to her classes last year and is disappointed she won’t be able to read HG with J’s class. She also said she’ll have to think about whether or not to read it with her other classes (6th grade is middle school here so they have it set up like a Jr. high). This surprised me (and gave me a teensy twinge of guilt). I honestly didn’t expect her to pull the book. I thought she’d give J something else to read. The writer in my feels horrible for having her pull the book from her curriculum, but the mother in me is relieved . . . and mother trumps writer every time! Smile I downloaded some of the books on the teacher’s reading list to my Kindle and ordered print versions of the rest of them.

3. The kids have been enjoying school, but in my excitement for them to go back, I forgot about all the $$$ I’d have to spend. The lists of school supplies needed just keep on coming! In addition to the school clothes and supplies, I’ve got a birthday party to pay for this weekend (J’s b-day is today, JR’s was the 14th, E’s was June 22, and K’s is Aug. 8 so we have one huge party for all of them) . . . yeah, our money tree shriveled up and is almost dead!!

4. I hope next week will allow me to get some writing done. I’m working on a crit for my ever patient crit partner, Joni, and hope to get it finished over the weekend (yes, in spite of the party and everything). Come Monday I hope to dive into my new WIP. We’ll see if it happens that way . . . and it probably won’t. My life is just as messed up as LJ right now . . . well, okay, more like LJ a few days ago (because at least now I can post on LJ and my life is still a crazy mess). Winking smile


Have a great weekend all!


Write on.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

You’re Going to Read What in Your Class???!!!

Maybe I’m an overprotective parent and should just crawl back under my rock and let this go, but the mama bear in me wants to fight tooth and nail to protect my daughter.

J will be twelve-years-old tomorrow and started sixth grade this year (they started school yesterday . . . YAY!). Last night, she brought home a letter from her Reading teacher that welcomed students and parents and included a list of some of the novels they will be reading as part of the curriculum this year. And the problem begins.

While I’m not a fan of banning books or restricting others from reading whatever they want, I’m rather picky in what I allow my children to read. I tend to screen novels before I allow my children to read them . . . sometimes in my screening, I decide a novel isn’t appropriate for them to read (depending on their age and maturity level). Maybe I’m the only parent out there who does this, but it’s just how I am. I know my children. I know their fears, concerns, phobias, etc. and have a pretty good idea about what they can handle and what they can’t.

So, the list (which included only a few of the novels the class will read) included The Hunger Games. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this book! Katniss is a strong character and the world Collins created is both fascinating and frightening. However, I don’t feel it’s appropriate for my twelve-year-old who was freaked out after reading Paris Pan Takes The Dare (which I also LOVE and so did she even though it freaked her out a bit). My oldest son (now 18) read The Hunger Games, and I’d have no problem with J reading it if she were fourteen (or maybe even next year depending on how she mentally matures this year). But at her present mental maturity, I don’t think she’s ready for the violence and intensity of the novel.

There are so many middle grade novels out there to choose from, and I don’t understand why a sixth grade teacher would want to include a young adult novel in the curriculum for such a young age group. Wouldn’t middle grade novels be more appropriate?

Am I way off base? Am I too overprotective? I’ve composed and saved a draft of an email to the teacher outlining my concerns, but wanted to send out feelers to you all before I sent it. Have you read The Hunger Games? If so, do you think it’s appropriate for sixth graders?

Do any of you have kids around twelve-years-old? Would you (or have you) let them read The Hunger Games? If so, how did they handle it?

I briefly outlined the plot for J by telling her it’s a novel about a future world where the people are divided into districts and a boy and girl from each district are chosen, taken away from their families, and forced to kill each other  for TV entertainment until only one of them is left. Yeah . . . she doesn’t want to read it.

I looked up the other books included in the brief list on Amazon, but haven’t read any of them (though I plan to):

Schooled (MG), Esperanza Rising (MG), Maniac Magee (MG), Stargirl (another YA), and Tracker (MG).

Have any of you read them? If so, should I be concerned about any of them (the YA in particular)?

Write Read on.