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Strange request ... give me the title of a HORRIBLE kids book


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I let myself get into a heated discussion with a childless coworker today who thinks I'm really foolish pre-reading and screening the books I let my kids read. I've only vetoed maybe two books in as many years but I do pre-read. I've got one sensitive kid so I don't allow anything that might give nightmares, I don't allow anything really poorly written, and I don't allow anything with kid behaving really badly toward their siblings. Not that strict I think. Anyway, so I defended myself to my coworker and he thinks that I'm just an over the top protective weirdo by doing that. He implied that it's all kids stuff and doesn't believe there is much a difference between well written children's stuff and poorly written. I know that I'm fighting a losing battle with this guy but I at least wanted to bring him an example of a well written children's book (Gooney Bird Greene, Capyboppy, The BFG) and a poorly written book. Well, I can't think of any really terrible children's books! I normally reseach our books a bit so I can't remember the last time I read a book that just really was trash.

 

Any suggestions? I know I'm fighting a losing battle with this guy. I know I should just get over it but I don't think I'm mature enough to do that. :glare:

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I let myself get into a heated discussion with a childless coworker today who thinks I'm really foolish pre-reading and screening the books I let my kids read. I've only vetoed maybe two books in as many years but I do pre-read. I've got one sensitive kid so I don't allow anything that might give nightmares, I don't allow anything really poorly written, and I don't allow anything with kid behaving really badly toward their siblings. Not that strict I think. Anyway, so I defended myself to my coworker and he thinks that I'm just an over the top protective weirdo by doing that. He implied that it's all kids stuff and doesn't believe there is much a difference between well written children's stuff and poorly written. I know that I'm fighting a losing battle with this guy but I at least wanted to bring him an example of a well written children's book (Gooney Bird Greene, Capyboppy, The BFG) and a poorly written book. Well, I can't think of any really terrible children's books! I normally reseach our books a bit so I can't remember the last time I read a book that just really was trash.

 

Any suggestions? I know I'm fighting a losing battle with this guy. I know I should just get over it but I don't think I'm mature enough to do that. :glare:

 

BTW~ Your book rules sound a lot like mine! ;) I don't allow name calling either. Or violent events, unless TRUE and written FOR kids, in a well written form.

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Any of the Junie B Jones books

:iagree:

 

I was going to say that. I started reading one to DD where Junie gets a new baby, before our baby got here and after about 3-4 pages I put it down...before I reached through the book and gave Junie a spanking! What a brat! I don't care if the book is written in the best prose, form, language etc, if it has bad behavior in it, DD is not going to read it, or have it read to her.

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We read an Aesop's Fable the other day that might fit this situation. It was called "The Lion and the Ass", and the moral was, "Do not resent the remarks of a fool. Ignore them". :D

 

Awesome. Thank you for that. After today I really needed a laugh. Why do people without children know so much about how I should be parenting them?!?! Ugh.

 

This guy is the same one that saw me reading a book on parenting/mothering and made a remark like "What are you doing with that? You're not a mother. You don't really have any kids." Okay, so I didn't give birth to these particular children but I can't help but notice that I'm doing a lot of the raising of them. Parenting them, some would call it. :glare:

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Well - it is for older kids, but I know of 4th graders reading them -

all of the Twilight books.

Not only are they poorly written, the relationship modeled between the main characters is exactly the kind of relationship that becomes abusive.

 

For younger kids.... Captain Underpants, but my kids did like them (heavy sigh), Those Babysitting Club books.... gag.

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Let's see. . . there is racist things written in many old books "Doctor Doolittle" (the original one), one of the "Mary Poppins" sequels had stuff - many of it wasn't meant to be racist at the time but reading it now makes my eyes creep up to my scalp in amazement.

 

Personally, I don't want my children to read some of the Roald Dahl books - there is a snarkiness to his books that I don't like (but I know many on this board adore his books).

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My youngest recently picked this one out at the library:

 

Yummy Trip! (Adventure of Meno)

For grammar reasons it was so bad :ack2: If you are going to have only one short sentence on a page, is it to much to make it at least somewhat grammatically correct.

 

I just found this link:

 

http://www.cracked.com/blog/10-great-childrens-books-for-people-who-hate-their-children/

 

But can't look at it cause it's time to read books to my boys.

 

Oh. My. God. That link.

 

And here's a video of a girl reading the "Who Cares About Disabled People?" book:

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This guy is the same one that saw me reading a book on parenting/mothering and made a remark like "What are you doing with that? You're not a mother. You don't really have any kids." Okay, so I didn't give birth to these particular children but I can't help but notice that I'm doing a lot of the raising of them. Parenting them, some would call it. :glare:

 

Um, yeah. For some reason, he's messing with you. Is it easy to get a rise out of you? He's a juvenile idiot having a grand time tormenting you. I think you need some new tactics. Stop feeding him. Tell him to get a pet to focus on instead.

 

Barb

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This: http://shop.abc.net.au/browse/product.asp?productid=164293

 

Anyone who thinks toddlers climbing out of their windows and roaming the streets in gangs is cute, funny or in any way appropriate mustn't have thought how they'd like their kids to be following the example. I can't believe this bird won prizes for what is probably the trashiest kids book I've ever met, and I did read Babysitters' Club occasionally as a kid.

 

Rosie

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Personally, I don't want my children to read some of the Roald Dahl books - there is a snarkiness to his books that I don't like (but I know many on this board adore his books).

 

That is the reason I think this is a difficult argument. My boys have read most of the books that others have indicated as 'bad', and have grown to be discerning readers in their pre-teen and teen years.

I absolutely respect those who find the time to pre-read and purposefully select books for their children, but because our standards as parents are so different, I can't imagine how I would convince someone who is much more careful than I am that my method (or lack thereof) is better. I believe the same holds true for the opposite position.

I'd let this one go and just know that what you are doing for your children is the right thing for your children.

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That is the reason I think this is a difficult argument. My boys have read most of the books that others have indicated as 'bad', and have grown to be discerning readers in their pre-teen and teen years.

 

 

I agree Crissy.

 

It's funny re: Junie B. I was given these books by a friend of the family when my oldest was 4 or 5. I was appalled. The grammar! The attitude! The example she was setting! But over time something funny happened. They grew on me. :o The whole family quotes Junie B and uses Junie B -isms in our everyday vocabulary. "It smelled like stink" is a favorite. Junie B. Jones is the only series or even book that all of my children (barring the toddler) have read and loved. They all think she is uproariously funny. My oldest didn't love them when she first read them, but she was a little uptight and identified more with adults being an only for so long. But she turned around and read them to her little sisters and giggled right along when she was 7 or 8 or 9.

 

I'm not defending Junie B. You love her or you hate her. I've done both. But reading is such a subjective experience. There are very few books that I would say unequivocally are "bad books".

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:iagree:

 

I was going to say that. I started reading one to DD where Junie gets a new baby, before our baby got here and after about 3-4 pages I put it down...before I reached through the book and gave Junie a spanking! What a brat! I don't care if the book is written in the best prose, form, language etc, if it has bad behavior in it, DD is not going to read it, or have it read to her.

 

 

I wish I would have known this before I bought my dd the entire series and let her read it. She's been imitating Junie's behavior! My son read some and told me, so I read some and it's true!

 

Definitely pre-read!

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Big Sister Now - hated it with a purple passion! Thank goodness I pre-read! I didn't dislike it for quality of writing but for the incredible ugliness depicted. I'll have to think on the junk writing...

 

Oh my! Me too! I was so excited to get this for my dd when our son was born but never gave it to her. I figured, if she wasn't acting jealous and mean, I wasn't going to introduce those ideas to her. I did like the illustrations of the poor Mom though, with a newborn, I felt a lot like her some days!:D

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I don't know if I'm actually going to follow through with my plan to illustrate to Mr Expert on Child Rearing coworker the difference between good children's literature and bad but it's fun reading all the titles.

 

Gosh I had forgotten all about Christopher Pike. Geez. I'm suprised he never got a Newbery Award. (kidding!)

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I agree.

 

I would pluck out my eyeballs before I read Magic Tree House or Junie B aloud.

 

But they serve a purpose. One can't simply start a young CVC - reader out on Narnia. New readers who read silently need books they can manage.

 

In the past there were no 'children's' novels, because very young children did not read 'literature'/novels.

 

There were 'readers' and there was 'literature'. 6 years olds did not read Homer.

 

 

 

I agree Crissy.

 

It's funny re: Junie B. I was given these books by a friend of the family when my oldest was 4 or 5. I was appalled. The grammar! The attitude! The example she was setting! But over time something funny happened. They grew on me. :o The whole family quotes Junie B and uses Junie B -isms in our everyday vocabulary. "It smelled like stink" is a favorite. Junie B. Jones is the only series or even book that all of my children (barring the toddler) have read and loved. They all think she is uproariously funny. My oldest didn't love them when she first read them, but she was a little uptight and identified more with adults being an only for so long. But she turned around and read them to her little sisters and giggled right along when she was 7 or 8 or 9.

 

I'm not defending Junie B. You love her or you hate her. I've done both. But reading is such a subjective experience. There are very few books that I would say unequivocally are "bad books".

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Awesome. Thank you for that. After today I really needed a laugh. Why do people without children know so much about how I should be parenting them?!?! Ugh.

 

This guy is the same one that saw me reading a book on parenting/mothering and made a remark like "What are you doing with that? You're not a mother. You don't really have any kids." Okay, so I didn't give birth to these particular children but I can't help but notice that I'm doing a lot of the raising of them. Parenting them, some would call it. :glare:

:angry::smash::cursing: I think I would have been guilty of more than words... What does he think you are doing? Playing with life sized dolls?

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Don't argue with him anymore. Really. Just don't. You will not change his mind. It seriously sounds like he enjoys arguing. If he does (enjoy arguing), then he'll never back down because then the fun argument will end.

I agree. Just wait for the day he grows up enough to have children of his own. Hopefully he will be man enough to apologize.

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:angry::smash::cursing: I think I would have been guilty of more than words... What does he think you are doing? Playing with life sized dolls?

For me it came as such a shock all I could do was stare dumbfounded at the person who had the nerve to say it to me.

 

I got the comment because I have an only. Supposedly one child isn't enough for me to be a real parent.

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Not sure if this was mentioned but A Series of Unfortunate Events series. I read it in 5th grade. The whole time I had this depressed, no hope attitude. The way the movie was, all gray and just bland, was how it made me feel.

 

Also, Coraline. Gave me nightmares for YEARS. I don't even understand who rated that movie but I guess they had no children. I thought it was PG13. Nope, PG. :confused::confused::confused:

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Not sure if this was mentioned but A Series of Unfortunate Events series. I read it in 5th grade. The whole time I had this depressed, no hope attitude. The way the movie was, all gray and just bland, was how it made me feel.

 

Dh and I couldn't take these books. We had to stop listening to them in the car on a family trip. I know many kids seem to love them but I just don't get it.

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The problem with coming up with the titles of horrible books is, that as soon as I decided a book looked questionable(thinking back to when my children were very young), I would forget about it and continue looking for something worthwhile.

But if you just go into any public library you can find stacks and stacks of horrible books in no time at all. :lol:

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A Child is a Child

 

Plot?

This picture book begins with a frightening premise: Daddy Frog doesn't come home and when Mama Frog sets out to find him, she, too, never returns. The two baby frogs are left alone and cowering on their lily pad. After some discussion, they are adopted by Mama Mouse. Mr. Mole, Mr. Hedgehog, and Mrs. Blackbird do their part to assist the adoptive mother (who already has five children of her own) and everyone lives happily ever after.

 

Lovely - a preschool book that illustrates that one day mommy and/or daddy might never come home. and while it's great that all the neighbors swoop in to raise the orphaned frogs, i still couldn't read it to my high anxiety kid when it was first given to him. thanks, mom, for sending that particular book.

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I have seen lots of old, creepy books online. This is one of them. This is another (check out the German childbirth book!). This is a whole website (formerly at this address) devoted to them. Happily, since it's affiliated with a library, you can BUY the books in question!

 

Personally, I've got a beef with Diary of a Worm because my kids have received it as a gift not once but TWICE, and I really wonder if any of those adoring relatives bothered to read it? Do I really want to encourage my kids to say their face looks like their butts? Sure it's funny (maybe) when it's worms talking, but ... groan.

Edited by stripe
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The Golden Compass (and the other two in the trilogy).

 

I'm not saying they are bad books. Lots of people find them interesting.

 

But they are NOT children's books. Which is always how I see them marketed. Sex, violence, horrific situations? Oh, sure, but the protagonist in the first one is a kid, so it must be a kid's book. Right?

 

I can't tell you how many people suggested I give these to my kids to read when they were in elementary school. They're nightmare generators. If a kid even understood what was going on.

 

Oh, and there were a lot of horror/ghost stories that were read to us back when I was elementary school. I guess the teacher was trying to engage us in reading. I STILL get creeped out by some of those stories.

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:iagree:

 

I was going to say that. I started reading one to DD where Junie gets a new baby, before our baby got here and after about 3-4 pages I put it down...before I reached through the book and gave Junie a spanking! What a brat! I don't care if the book is written in the best prose, form, language etc, if it has bad behavior in it, DD is not going to read it, or have it read to her.

 

I agree. One of the books has the word "stupid" in the title. I do not allow my children to use the word stupid, so I certainly don't want any children's books that utilize the word. There is NO Junie B. Jones in our house.

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I have seen lots of old, creepy books online. This is one of them. This is another (check out the German childbirth book!). This is a whole website (formerly at this address) devoted to them. Happily, since it's affiliated with a library, you can BUY the books in question!

 

Personally, I've got a beef with Diary of a Worm because my kids have received it as a gift not once but TWICE, and I really wonder if any of those adoring relatives bothered to read it? Do I really want to encourage my kids to say their face looks like their butts? Sure it's funny (maybe) when it's worms talking, but ... groan.

 

Oh my goodness. I just looked at one of the links you posted and those books are all such winners. :confused1: That baby sure does look happy to be being born. :lol: I thought I knew what a horrible children's book was but now I know I didn't have a clue. :scared::huh::001_unsure::confused1:

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Depending on what you think about legalization about marijuana... this book will probably strike many of you as *truly horrible*. It was given to us by a family member, though I haven't read it to my girls.

http://www.justaplant.com/

 

Anyway, we joke about when "It's just a drink" and "It's just a pill" and "It's just a needle" will come out.

Edited by Momling
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Here's a winner that my friend read out loud to our 7th grade friends on the Christian school playgroud: Forever by Judy Blume. I never had the guts to get it from the library and bring it home to read it, but my mom (who never pre-read books) would have been fine with it since it was JUDY BLUME - the woman who wrote books like "freckle juice". In case you don't know it is a book about two teens having sex for the first time in fairly graphic detail. THIS is why you pre-read books.

BEth

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Depending on what you think about legalization about marijuana... this book will probably strike many of you as *truly horrible*. It was given to us by a family member, though I haven't read it to my girls.

http://www.justaplant.com/

 

Anyway, we joke about when "It's just a drink" and "It's just a pill" and "It's just a needle" will come out.

 

 

I must be a truly awful person because this one cracked me up too. :lol:

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