Welcome to the Lizard Motel. Barbara Feinberg's new book is both a memoir of certain childhood memories and an indictment against the dismal state of books for young adults. Feinberg became concerned when her two children, once avid readers, became agitated at the prospect of reading the current crop of assigned literature for the upcoming school year. Curious, she started reading these books for herself, and discovered that, by and large, they were all examples of "problem literature," stories intended to educate children about the cold, harsh realities of life. Her conclusion:
"We seem to have lost sight of what children can actually process, and more important, of their own innate capacities. Instead of our children being free to roam and dream and invent on their own timetable, and to read about children doing such things, we increasingly ask our children to be sober and hard-working at every turn, to take detailed notes on their required texts with Talmudic attention, to endure computer-generated tests."Yet such books are are ever so popular with educators. Why? And what books to MeFites recall from their formative years? What makes for good reading for children?
posted by Ayn Marx
on Aug 29, 2004 -