The Chicago Tribune is reporting a story about one of our suburbs in a tizzy over the freshman reading list. Apparently, a whole seven parents found the language in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian to be “vulgar”.
Here is the gist of the argument:
“Andersen said she understands kids use profanity, but if it is part of the curriculum, the students will believe the school condones it.
“That is like saying that because Romeo and Juliet committed teen suicide, we condone teen suicide,” Whitehurst said. “Kids know the difference. Like it or not, that is the way 14-year-old boys talk to each other.””
Ms. Anderson, who the article makes a point to say has a teaching degree, wants to “start a national conversation” on warning labels for books. (rolls eyes)
There are labels. They are called Reading Levels. Oh, and the label on this book? Says that it won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
The solution to the drama seems to be that there will be parents allowed on the committee that chooses the reading list for this high school.
What Ms. Anderson has done here is made absolutely certain that every kid in that school reads the book to find the “vulgar” language. Wait. Maybe that was her point. Maybe she is a genius!
Somehow, though, I doubt it.
I haven’t read this book, so I can’t actually speak for the language. But I can pretty well guarantee that it doesn’t have any words that the average 14-year old hasn’t heard before.
Not any swear words, anyway.