Reading Up?

I think that it is important to knew the kids that you are working with and understanding what they are comfortable with and not comfortable with. I also think you have to considered how sophisticated their thinking is. What I mean is did they have the ability to pick up the messages in the book they are reading? I liked “The Giver” and “The Hunger Games” enjoying the messages in both books. In fact, I spent some time researching the reasons why “The Giver” has been banned or challenged from different libraries. It was weird reading on one Christian website that called the author a godless, soulless, and barren feminist and on the another Christian site the book was praised. As I was reading the argument to remove it, I thought a lot of adults seem to be missing the point of the book. They seemed to think that the author supported how the community ran itself in “The Giver” instead of her arguing against it. It made me think that there are some adults that are not ready to read “The Giver” or “The Hunger Games.”

I think that tweens should be given the option to read these books. I am not sure if it should be required reading for those grades. I think as librarians we need to tell our students that if a book makes them uncomfortable they can stop reading it or they can come to us and discuss why the book is making them uncomfortable. I agree that there are scenes in both books that are heavy and it is okay if the students are not comfortable with it. They might decide they are not ready to read the book and hopefully they will read it later when they feel more comfortable.

I admit I am biased because I love reading dystopian literature. I grow up reading “1984” and “Brave New World.” I liked “Robocop” and those types of movies. If you notice some of my examples are more for adults then tweens. I think that tweens should have their own version of dystopian literature which is “The Giver” and “The Hunger Games.” I think that there are a number of tweens that are ready to read this type of literature.

My students that have read “The Hunger Games” enjoyed it. I am not sure how much of the message is getting through to them but I like that they admire Katniss and think she is awesome. Even the boys like her.

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