Thursday, October 23, 2008

Take-home reader from the school of hard knocks?

I am hardly a high-maintenance elementary school parent, but I must confess to feeling a bit squeamish about the home reader that Miss Thang brought home the other night:



File this one under "R is for Roadkill."

20 comments:

manic knitter said...

What happened to the "dog gets lost, dog travels 1000 miles and has adventures, dog is joyously re-united (sub any animal you choose)with boy or girl" scenarios we grew up with? Could this be why everyone wonders why youth today are so jaded and non-idealistic? Because they know the dog really got killed and their parents lied to spare their feeling like our's did? Gee, next they'll be putting out kids' books about how the yarn got all knotted up and mom was hormonal and took the scissors to it in a rage and that's why they're not getting that neat sweater she let them choose the colors for. :-)

Jen said...

Owch! That's harsh!

Kathy Merrick said...

What's next on the list-- Borstal Boy?

Phro5gg said...

I guess "G" is for Gigolo can't be far behind. Boy, school has sure changed since I went.

puffthemagicrabbit said...

That's awful! Eeesh.

deirdre said...

Oh, I just choked on my tea - unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable

Bridget said...

Gee back when I was in school, Jim's dog was squashed by the town doctor's horse and buggy.

Really though, what is the point of this story? Don't kids (and adults) worry about this kind of stuff enough anyway???

Mel said...

Well, it's hardly "The Tenth Good Thing About Barney", but I guess I'd have to see the rest of it to decide whether I'd recommend it to parents.

Elizabeth said...

My goodness. Words fail me.

Carol said...

The result of cutbacks in educational spending? Please say that book was published in 1954... Send it back to the school with a note.

Barb B. said...

Makes no sense to me. First they santize the fairy tales and nursery rhymes (not a bad thing in some cases .. Who shot Cock Robin "who caught his blood? I caught his blood said the fish, in my little dish. I caught his blood" gave me nightmares) Now they squash the dog.
How about:
"Jim's not coming to school today. His Mom o.d'd last night and his Dad's not back from the crack house."
"What about his sister?"
"Oh, she's still hookin' on the corner till noon".
"Oh gee, who's gonna look after his dog"
"No one, it caught squashed by a garbage truck"
I mean, kids need reality right?
For sweet heaven sake, what the heck is wrong with these people????

Laura said...

Wow, is this the kindergarten version of children's classics like Where The Red Fern Grows, Old Yeller, The Yearling...? Does Jim have to finish his dog off with a shotgun after the garbage truck runs over it? :)

I had to read those books in grade school, they made me cry for weeks. I thought they gave kids kinder, gentler things to read nowadays?

JellyDonut said...

Nice. And they wonder why kids aren't reading anymore...What's next? Jim's dad loses his job?

anne marie in philly said...

uh...eww!

PS - verification word is "clagula"; dracula's brother, perhaps???

Christine said...

My high-schooler daughter was just telling me about a boy in one of her classes whose dog was hit and killed by his school bus driver-- so it was kind of eerie to read your post today!

Anonymous said...

Ah.. we've seen these books! They're on the Kindergarten reading list here. There's another in the series about a classmate who is blind, and I forget what the third one is about.

To be fair, if I remember correctly, the kids in the class try to Help Each Other navigate around these problems.

Then again, it's Philly, so maybe we're just getting them started on the Philly Crankiness Early?

And ya know... when I hear some of the stuff that kids tell me when they're visiting... the squashed dog is just the tip o' the iceburg sometimes. :(

rogue1 said...

It's so they are ready for the vampires, sex and drugs in young adult fiction.

Actually the story doesn't bother me, but considering the kids I've been working with, maybe I'm immune to roadkill. Just as long as there are no pictures.

Eileen said...

I don't know which is worse - the fad of whitewashing everything so that our kids aren't touched by anything even vaguely negative (until they experience the Trial By Fire that is the average school playground), or the fad of hyper-realistic Preparation For The Real World by which our kids are able to suffer the pangs of their first contacts with death before they actually experience it for themselves. Wheee, what we do to our kids in the name of Educational Theory!

Jennifer said...

Is the next panel and image of the kids poking the poor doogies corpse with a stick exclaiming "ew"?

I think the "It was all squashed" part was my favorite.

Quilting Mama said...

Wow this is hard for kindergarten. I guess MM didn't get this one in her take home set.

I hope the district or teacher has a good reason for this manner of pet death intro for 5-6 year olds.