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08 May 2014

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dangermom

I sure thought it was rapey. Ew.

Leila

OMG, RIGHT??

Liz Burns

It's my understanding that this is a rape scene, also.

Also, one of the pro-dad articles I read quoted a GoodReads reviewer as "proof" that 19 Minutes is a book that shouldn't be read. Because this reviewer said so.

No, really.

Hope

This isn't the best example to pick because this man seems like a jerk, but is anyone else uncomfortable with assigning contemporary works with rape scenes or other really heavy hitting content as mandatory reading?

Leila

@Liz: Okay, that makes me feel better -- everywhere I've looked, people are referring to it as a 'sex scene', and: no. Rape =/= sex.

@Hope: I suspect you already know my thoughts on this one, but here they are anyway: I think choice of assigned reading should depend on the particular teacher, class, and students. Difficult topics make for good conversation, critical thinking, and active engagement with the text -- literature that reflects modern day life and familiar situations can engage readers who get lost in the distance between their life/experience/worldview and that of some of the older classics, can show them that books are not all about (or written by) long-dead old men, and that books can be thought-provoking, emotionally engaging, and entertaining.

Beyond the purely literary angle, talking/thinking about tough subjects in a classroom setting can be helpful in dealing with those same subjects in real life, whether the student is someone actively suffering from one of the plethora of horrible things that we do to ourselves and each other, or an observer, a participant, a survivor. This is hard stuff, but avoiding certain topics or withholding information won't protect kids: knowledge can at the very least help.

In this case, the whole situation might have been avoided if there'd been a permission slip/opt-out form. But then again, maybe not. :P (I'm not sure how much of that made sense, and it was probably more long-winded an answer than you were looking for, but sometimes I just... Can't. Stop. Typing.)

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