Paint Roller Archives: The books we read in schools

-Originally Composed February 3, 2007- 

Watching a news piece about So far from the Bamboo Grove, I had an incredibly enlightening conversation with my wife Miyoung about school books. A representative for Boston Public Schools was touting the book as a great way for school children to learn about rape, and Miyoung raised a question I hadn’t articulated since 7th grade, when I questioned the reading of One Fat Summer, ostensibly because it had a masturbation scene, but mostly because I didn’t like reading a book about a fat weirdo when I was, in fact, a fat weirdo. Why do American children read books with such negative themes? Why is it important to read about violence, rape and masturbation in junior high?
Miyoung asked me why we don’t just read nice books. I assured her we read plenty of those too, and then I thought back to the books I had read in school.
Check out this list of recommended summer reading books I found through a quick googling. Some highlights include:

Frank, Anne. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird.
Orwell, George. 1984.
Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front.
Sinclair, Upton.
The Jungle.
Sophocles. Oedipus Rex.
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath.
Steinbeck, John. The Pearl.
Steinbeck, John. The Red Pony.
Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.


~ by Joshing on December 6, 2007.

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