Tough Stuff

As I was doing the reading for this week, I thought about an article I read when I was writing a paper on censorship.  A teacher was describing an incident with a parent where she was discussing with her books her teenager could read in place of the one he was reading in class.  The parent wanted her son to read books that had happier endings because most of the books they were reading were so depressing.  She wanted him to read books that better reflected his life and did not include violence or sex.  She felt these things did not fit their values.  I thought that she was doing her son a disservice by trying to shield him from those realities.  I think she was underestimating what her son is able to handle.

I was thinking about that as I read “The Higher Power of Lucky.’  For those who do not know, this book is about a girl who lives with her father’s first wife because her mother is dead.  These book is about a girl who is an orphan and who feels she has very little control in her life.  I work with students who are at-risk and a number of them do not have good home lives.  Many of them have home lives that are pretty difficult where they are dealing with very adult issues.  I know that a number of my students do not live with their parents.  They live with grandparents, aunts, uncles, or friends of the family.  The thing is that they like to read books that many people would consider pretty depressing.  They want to read stories about other children who are going through hard times like them.  It seems to help them process their lives and situations.  Especially, since they really do not have any control over their lives because they are minors.


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