Friday, September 08, 2006

Washington Post's crummy recommendations

I found some children's book recommendations at the Washington Post web site. Had our son read the list and tell me which book he wanted. He chose Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell.

Unbelievable. This book is recommended for age nine and up. And it includes foul language. I went to to view book reviews and out of 45 reviews I found one comment subject titled "A warning from a teacher" that mentions the use of profanity, yet concedes that aside from the fact that kids may pick up some words that are inappropriate, it's a very well written book. A second post refers to "minimal strong language." A third review, subject titled "A Kid's Review" says he/she would recommend the book to anyone though "it does contain some language such as the b- word."

Well our nine year old got to page eight and came across the h*ll word.

I suppose hurling insults in the form of cursing and profanity has become so commonplace that it's now entirely acceptable as pleasurable reading material for the under age 10 set now? They're not even teen-aged yet! The world is so full of so many wonderful books. I put Sahara Special in the garbage.

My 11 year old nephew once used foul language when speaking with me. I think he felt so at ease sprinkling profanity throughout his conversations that he didn't think twice about it. I told him not to use that language around me. And since that time, not once has he ever used any foul language in my presence. I know he does when I'm not around, and yet all I had to do was ask him not to, and he's respected that.

My husband sent an email to the Washington Post:

Your recommendation of Sahara Special for young readers 9 years and older is a poor excuse for children's reading. On page 8 of the book, the word "h*ll" is used. While that may suitable reading for your child, it is not for mine. In the future I will ignore any recommendations that the Washington Post makes regarding children's books.

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