Thursday, August 05, 2010

Censoring the Kids' Reading

There's a clothing size I find annoying, senseless, inaccurate and insensitive:
"One size fits all."

The concept is in more places than just the clothing store.  Education, schools also think all kids are the same.  Yes, of course, some school systems are more sensitive and logical than others.  They try to give the kids what's needed.

Frume Sarah has a post about reading, that's reading books on levels and subjects no always "appropriate" to age.  I'm also among those who as a child read books geared to adults.  They didn't corrupt me, because I didn't understand the things I shouldn't have read about.  I comprehended them with the mind of an innocent young child.  That also goes for some movies I saw.  People, of all ages, interpret according to their own experiences and general level of maturity.

Here's my comment to her post:
I'm even older...
I was in the 6th grade around the Eichmann Trial and wanted to read Rise and fall of the Third Reich, but the Hebrew School librarian recommended Minister of Death by Quentin Reynolds, which I chose for an "oral book report" in school. The teacher gave me a zero: "Children in the 6th grade don't read books by Quentin Reynolds; you must be lying!" Only decades later did I mention it to my parents. Things were different then.
When my eldest was about the same age, the local librarian had strict rules about the kids only taking from the "right grade book shelves." My daughter had always read books for much older kids and was forced to stay up late and go to adult hours in the library as to not "corrupt" other children.


Frume Sarah said...

I like your take on this and it was true in my case as well. The stuff that I wasn't ready to be reading just went over my head.

thanks so much for the shout-out.

Batya said...

I guess many of us liked to read and read everything. I hated the library limiting me.

Hadassa said...

I recently saw a clothing tag that read "one size fits most". I doubt that it does, but it's still better then the overconfident "all".
I'm pleased to say that my parents and teachers encouraged us to read at whatever level we could handle. "Right grade book shelves" seems to me to fit in with the annoying socialist we-all-have-to-do-EVERYTHING-together attitude.
Content that might "corrupt" is a different matter. There are rules of tzniut that are relevant at any age, no matter how mature the reader/movie goer is and how well he or she can "handle it". Obvious one shouldn't compare printed material to the "big screen" - or the small one - but modesty is still an issue.

Batya said...

"most," that's good, haven't seen it.
Today internet is more a danger, I think.