School Reading

“Finally, a charitable effort I would be happy to participate in,” I thought when I read the following in The Nation magazine:

Ferocious cuts to public school funds have taken a big toll on school libraries—whose collections are tattered, outdated and shrinking. This website posts school librarians’ wish lists—buy a volume in the ever-popular Bone series for a Boston elementary school, or Eric Foner’s Reconstruction for an Alabama high school. And don’t stop with the holidays—bookmark the website for year-long donating as new lists are posted.

What can be more wonderful than buying some books for a school library? Of course, I immediately headed over to filltheshelves. org. There, I suffered a major disappointment.

Here is the list of books for Susan Moore High School:

The Kill Order (Maze Runner Prequel) by James Dashner (Hardcover)
The Death Cure (Maze Runner Series #3) by James Dashner (Paperback)
Insurgent (Divergent, Book 2) by Veronica Roth (Hardcover)
The Merchant of Death (Pendragon Series #1) by D. J. MacHale (Paperback)
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (Mass Market Paperback)
by Col. Will G. Merrill Jr. (Paperback)
The Quillan Games (Pendragon) by D. J. MacHale (Hardcover)

And the list continues in the same vein. Now let’s see the list for Nathan Hale Elementary:

by Stefan Petrucha (Paperback)
by Vera B. William (Hardcover)
by Fred McKissack (Hardcover)
(Hardcover)

If parents want their kids reading these esteemed authors I never heard anything about, they should go ahead and buy this junk for their kids. That is their inalienable right. But can anybody tell me why schools should be immersing children in this kind of crapola?

I’m not surprised any longer to see students who come to college having no idea what a novel is and not being able to name a single book they read and enjoyed.

As you can probably guess, I will not be participating in this “charitable” effort.

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14 comments on “School Reading

  1. I suppose these lists are aimed at the idea of ‘get them reading anything, it doesn’t matter what’.
    I wouldn’t join that scheme with those books either.

  2. Why on earth would a kids librarian put a pop up book on their wish list? Pop up books always get damaged fast, are usually impossible to repair effectively and are then a disappointment to all future borrowers.

  3. I know what you mean. You readers should or might want to start by reading teen lit., but this dos not look quite like that.

  4. OK, so I had a look at some complete lists and lets say that these schools do not have high hopes about their student`s reading skills. They only request books about the US and teen lit.

  5. What if all the buy-worthy books have already been bought by generous parties?
    Maybe this is the only stuff left because people went “I am not going to pay for this crap!”? Have some faith in humanity :-)

    • The funny thing is that those of these books that I have read or consulted are really harmless. I wouldn’t call them subversive or even more un-American than tons of other readers on history and cultural studies. This is such a bizarre book-banning initiative. I feel like they simply ban anything with the word “latino” in it.

  6. I actually read one of those books when I was a child! My elementary school had “The Dark-Thirty” in its library, and since I loved myths, legends and folktales of all kinds, I picked it up. I don’t remember any of the stories now, but I remember being enthralled reading them.

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