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Shocked that this book is on the Grade 11 common core reading list. Scary!


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We teach our kids that everyone is different. We teach them to respect others beliefs. Some of us will never want anything to do with this book. Others think it's great. Just move on and don't cause hard feelings in the forum. We all have our opinions and have shared them, do we really have to get mean to those who have a different idea?

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I will never be able to thoughtfully process graphic details of child rape. And I am not shallow (you did not say this-another poster did) or not as mature as any other adult. I choose to not read something that is horrifying and disgusting. 

 

Choosing not to read something is one thing.  Saying that it's Satanic, simply because you don't want to read it, is ridiculous and over the top.

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Awed to be in the presence of someone such as yourself. How does one make an educated guess after reading a few posts someone puts on a forum? Oh, I guess its probably the many, many years you have lived.

 

And I totally thought once you hit the 400th book, you were in fact a literary genius. 

 

And you said ChocolateReign was rude?  Hello, Pot?

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I have not read The Bluest Eye and so have no opinion on whether I will assign it to my kids. I preread everything I assign, and I hope to continue this through high school. As far as what they pick on their own, they have fairly free reign. I warn them when I think there is something that might bother them in a book. Both my 7yo and 9yo are mature enough to walk away from a book that is too much for them.

 

This thread drives me crazy though, because I do not understand how a person can judge a book they haven't read. This reminds me of the big brouhaha that happened locally over Julie of the Wolves. The parents didn't want this book assigned to the 6th graders. I was in 8th or 9th grade by that time and it was SO frustrating to watch. These parents didn't want their child to read a book about sex. A book about sex!?!? Anyone that would suggest that Julie of the Wolves is a book about sex did not read the book. If you did not read the book, you should not get a say! Kudos to the poster(s) who took (are taking) the time to read this book before rushing to judgement.

 

These are a few lines pulled out of a 200+ page book. They are nasty and vulgar - I have seen nobody argue otherwise. They are also REAL. Real life isn't always pretty. Not everybody gets a happy ending. I guarantee there are 17yos who are ready for this and 17yos who are not. Because of this, most teachers won't assign this book. Fine. But to suggest that anybody who reads this book is some sort of depraved soul is just... I'm at a loss for words.

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Yes, Jesus himself wrote explicit details about these play by play in the Bible, but since he didn't win a Nobel Prize, it sure wasn't as beautifully written and artistic as Toni's. :001_rolleyes:

Really- you cannot compare the Bible to the stuff in this book.

 

I can read books about incest,rape, and child abuse. I just don't choose to read it in massive detail where it paints a picture in my head disgusting detail by disgusting detail.

  :lol:

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I can understand parents being reluctant to see this one specific extremely difficult theme of incestuous rape brought up at this specific age. I cannot understand parents rejecting the novel as porn, trash, or Satan -- especially without actually reading it (or even decent literary criticism of it) or proposing alternatives. And the statement that details are never necessary belies a mindset that apparently doesn't regard any powerful, emotional literature as worthwhile. This blows my mind regardless, but in the context of a message board primarily dedicated to the virtues of a classical education? I just...I don't even.

 

 

I am really trying to understand.

 

Is the rape the issue?

Is the incest the issue?

Is the child abuse the issue?

Is it all three things that are the issue?

Would you not allow an older teen to read any book that covers these terms in such detail?

 

 

IT'S NOT ABOUT THE THEME/ISSUE/WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT!!! I feel like you guys aren't listening to us. it's about the graphic sexual descriptions that some of us feel are unnecessary.

 

This is going to sound rude, however I say it.

 

Who cares? Why does it matter that this book is written by Toni Morrison. Can literary greats not miss the mark. Are they infallible?

 

There are many great American authors that write about the black, white, mexican, gay, experience. They can and have done so without going into horrifyingly graphic detail.

 

 

thank you.

 

I abhor the idea of censorship as well. However, even our government has determined that certain things like child p0rn should be banned. For the record, in no way am I equating the TM book with child p0rn. I agree that for a Pulitzer prize book it must have literary merit. OTOH, I do choose to "censor" the literature and other media that my ds reads and watches. Do not all parents do this?? I believe most parents do this. For example, I do not let my ds have unfettered access to the internet. There are many sorts of movies I would not let him watch as well such as horror movies filled with blood, guts, and gore. I also would not let him play computer games that feature violence or other adult situations. Does this mean I am a prudish censoring mom? IMHO, no it does not.

 

I don't think you are or it is, but even if it does, who cares? you are a parent doing what you feel is best for your child. own it.

 

Of course we protect children. But these are 11th graders not 6th graders! Two years away from leaving home and living on their own. We're talking about young adults, not children.

 

they're still my CHILDREN, no matter the age, and I will protect them however I can for as long as I can, even into adulthood. can I protect them from everything forever? no. is it my job to prepare them for the world? yes. I guess we all have different ways of doing this.

 

So many books cover horrifying and disgusting things. What do you read?

 

 

 

Stuff like incest? Like in the bible?

Stuff like rape? Like in the bible?

Stuff like child abuse? Like in the bible?

 

again, it's not about the incest, rape, abuse, theme in general, but about the (some of us feel) unnecessary graphically detailed sexual passages.

 

tired of talking to a wall so climbing back into my happily literature illiterate hole.  :leaving:

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again, it's not about the incest, rape, abuse, theme in general, but about the (some of us feel) unnecessary graphically detailed sexual passages.

 

tired of talking to a wall so climbing back into my happily literature illiterate hole.  :leaving:

 

You definitely are ill informed and ignorant if you are STILL saying these passages are unnecessary without having read the damn book.

 

THAT is what those of us are saying. And if you refuse to read the book, that's fine, but then keep your damn mouth shut on whether other people should read it. You don't have the knowledge to have an opinion.

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And you said ChocolateReign was rude?  Hello, Pot?

No just sarcastic

 

I did not call people shallow, nor did I crawl up on a high horse and tell people that I must have read more books that they have, obviously calling the other person (whom I know hardly anything about) not as smart.

 

I think you are all smart women (ChocolateReign being the deepest intellectually, of course :001_smile: ), which why it makes me ill that you want you or your kids to be able to read this book and live out a rape of a child in their head. 

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I am amazed with some of these posts. I homeschool because I want my son to have a better education not because I have buried my head in the sand and want my son to do the same. When I joined this forum a year ago I had hoped to find other like-minded parents, but the longer I am here the more I wonder if people here use this forum to find support for sheltering their child from reality and hope to continue to control children throughout their life and to do so need to keep their children home to drill fear into them so they will remain under their control for as long as possible.

 

In some states 17 is the age of majority. 17 is the average age for a junior in high school and the target age for reading this that we are talking about. If your 17 year old is so sheltered by your approved choices for literature that you cannot bring them to be challenged by this book at age 17 then you have failed.  If you flipped out over a few small passages and decided based on that to ban the book, then maybe classical education is not something you should be offering your children.

 

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You definitely are ill informed and ignorant if you are STILL saying these passages are unnecessary without having read the damn book.

 

THAT is what those of us are saying. And if you refuse to read the book, that's fine, but then keep your damn mouth shut on whether other people should read it. You don't have the knowledge to have an opinion.

 

Whoa calm down. We can in fact have an opinion on anything we want to, especially the excerpts of the book that we did read. Welcome to America. Land of the free. Some people even said the book could have been written without those scenes. 

 

I can say that I think a book with those excerpts SHOULD NOT be on the Common Core reading list, much less written for anyone to read. Yes, we can have that opinion. 

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Whoa calm down. We can in fact have an opinion on anything we want to, especially the excerpts of the book that we did read. Welcome to America. Land of the free. Some people even said the book could have been written without those scenes. 

 

I can say that I think a book with those excerpts SHOULD NOT be on the Common Core reading list, much less written for anyone to read. Yes, we can have that opinion. 

 

This forum has members from all over the world.

 

Anyway, so you are free to have an opinion yet you want to withhold the materials and deprive other of their freedom to form an opinion? I think you missed the point of the freedom that you are clinging to.

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I am amazed with some of these posts. I homeschool because I want my son to have a better education not because I have buried my head in the sand and want my son to do the same. When I joined this forum a year ago I had hoped to find other like-minded parents, but the longer I am here the more I wonder if people here use this forum to find support for sheltering their child from reality and hope to continue to control children throughout their life and to do so need to keep their children home to drill fear into them so they will remain under their control for as long as possible.

 

In some states 17 is the age of majority. 17 is the average age for a junior in high school and the target age for reading this that we are talking about. If your 17 year old is so sheltered by your approved choices for literature that you cannot bring them to be challenged by this book at age 17 then you have failed.  If you flipped out over a few small passages and decided based on that to ban the book, then maybe classical education is not something you should be offering your children.

REALLY???

 

I have failed as a parent because I won't let my kid read in detail about a man raping his child?????????????????????????

So I am a failure myself because I won't read it?????????????

 

Yes I should quit classical education and parenting because I won't read in detail about child rape.

 

This has been the best post yet.

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This forum has members from all over the world.

 

Anyway, so you are free to have an opinion yet you want to withhold the materials and deprive other of their freedom to form an opinion? I think you missed the point of the freedom that you are clinging to.

I am from America- hence my freedom to my opinion.

 

And yes being free does not mean that I would ever want a  teenager to read about graphic child rape. 

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I am surprised, and yet not surprised by this thread. I just find it baffling that one could fight so hard against something they literally have no idea about. It's weird and disheartening. 

 

I hate Sushi.....well seafood in general. When we are going out with friends and they suggest Sushi, I am usually the loudest voice opposing it. The fact is, I have never tried Sushi. My mom tells me I liked tunafish sandwiches as a child. I tell her she must be mistaken. So I guess I actuality just hate the thought of Sushi.  My dd8 loves it, and she doesn't like a lot of things. My husband and her always go out to the Sushi restaurant together because I refuse to go, even for their amazing chicken teriyaki.  People always tell me that I should try it because it is not how I have envisioned it in my head and I may be surprised.. I'm scared to try it though. I'm scared of the smell. I'm scared of the texture. But most of all, I think I am scared of the fact that I may actually like it.

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I am surprised, and yet not surprised by this thread. I just find it baffling that one could fight so hard against something they literally have no idea about. It's weird and disheartening. 

 

I hate Sushi.....well seafood in general. When we are going out with friends and they suggest Sushi, I am usually the loudest voice opposing it. The fact is, I have never tried Sushi. My mom tells me I liked tunafish sandwiches as a child. I tell her she must be mistaken. So I guess I actuality just hate the thought of Sushi.  My dd8 loves it, and she doesn't like a lot of things. My husband and her always go out to the Sushi restaurant together because I refuse to go, even for their amazing chicken teriyaki.  People always tell me that I should try it because it is not how I have envisioned it in my head and I may be surprised.. I'm scared to try it though. I'm scared of the smell. I'm scared of the texture. But most of all, I think I am scared of the fact that I may actually like it.

sushi.....graphic raping of a child.....hmmmmmmmmm

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This forum has members from all over the world.

 

Anyway, so you are free to have an opinion yet you want to withhold the materials and deprive other of their freedom to form an opinion? I think you missed the point of the freedom that you are clinging to.

 

??

 

I don't think anyone is saying that we should ban the book.

 

It's okay that we disagree with what our children should be exposed to. It's really okay. That doesn't mean some of us are ignorant, burying our heads in the sand, stoopid, illiterate, or whatever other heated insult. I could also use some choice words and names for the people so staunchly defending this book, but I won't go there.

 

Can we just agree to disagree? I think it would be just beating a dead horse at this point. JMO. It's been an interesting discussion, though. That's why I love this forum, lots of food for thought. :)

 

ETA: I get that a 17 year old is almost an adult. Like I said awhile ago, if my children really wanted to read this, I would explore that. But I don't ever see that happening. lol. The issue many of us have is that this would be on a *required* reading list.

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I don't even know what to respond to on this thread.

It truly surprises me to see how out of touch some adults are. I'm sorry, but if you truly think the majority of 17 year olds are oblivious to rape, incest, and general sex, you're a bit deluded. And lesbianism? I'm not even going to start on that.

I watched SVU on tv starting when I was about 12. That's about rape, often times explicitly described and even depicted, yet I don't think most of you would consider that pornography.

I suppose I just find it very strange how the age of consent in many states is 17, some 16, and in the rest 18, yet people are horrified at the idea of a teenager reading about it first. Maybe I just can't understand it from a mothers perspective but I think I would rather my child be educated about these things before they go off to college and so on. By around that age your kids should be mature enough to handle such subjects.

OK, I'm confused.

 

You have said in other threads that you have a grown dd and another in 9th grade, yet you now say that you started watching SVU when you were 12?

 

That show wasn't on television until 1999, so you couldn't have watched it before then.

 

If you were 12 in 1999, the oldest you could possibly be right now is around 26.

 

What's going on here? You posted under two different usernames in the "graduating late" thread you started on high school forum, and now you're posting here under the "mom's" username, but you're clearly not old enough to be the mom.

 

I really wish you and your mom would stick to posting with your own usernames. It's confusing to try to figure out which person is posting when you switch back and forth.

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I think you are all smart women (ChocolateReign being the deepest intellectually, of course :001_smile: ), which why it makes me ill that you want you or your kids to be able to read this book and live out a rape of a child in their head. 

 

You're right.  I have been converted.  We should, actually, call for the public burning of all copies so that we are not able to read them.

 

While we're at it, anything else you'd like to add?

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That's not censorship, that's parents exercising their discretion when it comes to media. There are plenty of books in the library that I would not allow my 'tween to borrow because I feel their content is age-inappropriate for her. Doesn't mean I would support attempts to have those books removed from the library collection (which would be censorship).

Again, in many states 17 year olds ae legally adults. The fact that you want to control another adult is disturbing.

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ETA: I get that a 17 year old is almost an adult. Like I said awhile ago, if my children really wanted to read this, I would explore that. But I don't ever see that happening. lol. The issue many of us have is that this would be on a *required* reading list.

In some states 17 year olds are adults.

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Wow I am incredibly disturbed by this thread. The original topic notwithstanding. The horrific mockery of individuals with different opinions does not say much for the self proclaimed individuals of "deeper intellect." The simple fact that some people on a homeschool forum find it appropriate to call those of us opposed to our children reading this "book" incapable of being classical educators or subpar parents is deplorable.

 

If the graphic scenes outlined in this book were in video format would it be acceptable? If it were found on a pedophiles computer would it be evidence?

 

It is not the topics. It is the presentation.

 

And wait, it's not ok to speak out against Toni Morrison, God forbid..but the Bible is fair game?

 

This thread amazes me...though it shouldn't. The ideology here is the exact reason we chose to homeschool.

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But the point may be that there is nothing beyond the awful reality. And to change that wouldn't be true to the experience.

Just quoting yours because its shortest! This makes me wonder about what responsibility an author has to her (or his) readers. Every author has a purpose, even authors of fluff. If a person writes a serious work, should she provide some sort of solution to the problems presented? I assume if an author is writing about a serious issue, then that author is hoping to change society for the better. Maybe some authors feel their place is to simply lay out the problems in all of their horribleness and let the reader decide what to do with them. Should the author provide some sort of direction? I guess if I was writing a book, hope would definitely be part of it! I know some people don't feel that there is any hope and I'm well aware that many people don't overcome their problems. Maybe that is why I think it is good when an author can give some hope to her readers. That way if someone reading it is struggling with the same issues then they can maybe get help, improve their life, whatever.

 

This is certainly an interesting conversation! Lol

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Just quoting yours because its shortest! This makes me wonder about what responsibility an author has to her (or his) readers. Every author has a purpose, even authors of fluff. If a person writes a serious work, should she provide some sort of solution to the problems presented? I assume if an author is writing about a serious issue, then that author is hoping to change society for the better. Maybe some authors feel their place is to simply lay out the problems in all of their horribleness and let the reader decide what to do with them. Should the author provide some sort of direction? I guess if I was writing a book, hope would definitely be part of it! I know some people don't feel that there is any hope and I'm well aware that many people don't overcome their problems. Maybe that is why I think it is good when an author can give some hope to her readers. That way if someone reading it is struggling with the same issues then they can maybe get help, improve their life, whatever.

 

This is certainly an interesting conversation! Lol

 

 

Sometimes just starting the conversation is making a change for the better.

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I don't think anyone is saying that we should ban the book.

 

It's okay that we disagree with what our children should be exposed to.

 

Yes, it is. But resorting to calling the book filth, trash, pornography, and Satanic is way over the top. The idea that if someone doesn't like something it's no good for anyone. ever. end of story. and that you are allowing Satan to frolic in your soul if you read it is anti-intellectual and ignorant, frankly.

 

I don't care a hoot whether anyone lets their teenager read The Bluest Eye. It's not my call in the slightest. I do care that people feel that they have a right to decide whether anyone should ever get to write such a book.

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Sometimes just starting the conversation is making a change for the better.

:iagree:

 

But I have to say that some of the posts (on both sides of the argument) seem to be leaning perilously close to being personal attacks on those who don't agree with their point of view.

 

I haven't read the book, so I don't feel qualified to post an opinion one way or the other, but I am finding this thread to be quite interesting.

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:iagree:

 

But I have to say that some of the posts (on both sides of the argument) seem to be leaning perilously close to being personal attacks on those who don't agree with their point of view.

 

I haven't read the book, so I don't feel qualified to post an opinion one way or the other, but I am finding this thread to be quite interesting.

It is making me wish I hadn't given up coffee.

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Yes, it is. But resorting to calling the book filth, trash, pornography, and Satanic is way over the top. The idea that if someone doesn't like something it's no good for anyone. ever. end of story. and that you are allowing Satan to frolic in your soul if you read it is anti-intellectual and ignorant, frankly.

 

I don't care a hoot whether anyone lets their teenager read The Bluest Eye. It's not my call in the slightest. I do care that people feel that they have a right to decide whether anyone should ever get to write such a book.

 

Lol. Point taken. But as intelligent adults, are we not allowed to form opinions on literature? That is different than the personal attacks I have seen in this thread, no?

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I think the book is something every 16 year old should read.  It's more than sex.  Sex is part of the plot, just as sex is part of life.  


"Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing"

 

 

I graduated from high school 25+ years ago.  I doubt high schoolers have changed much.  They still know a lot more about sex that their parents think...and are far more interested in sex than their parents think... even if they come from "conservative" families.  However, just because they read about sex, does not necessarily mean they're having sex.  Sex in the context of a well-written plot is fine.  It does not constitute pornography IMHO.  Heck, knowing that there's something in the book that some parents are upset about might actually get the kids to read it. :)

 

If you're really worried about your kids sexuality, then be far more concerned with sex ed and how it is taught.  Abstinence-only is the worst for ensuring healthy sexuality and pregnancy prevention.  It can also be quite damaging.  Elizabeth Smart had a lot to say about how she was raised...and how her feeling that she was damaged and nobody would want her kept her a victim.  It's worth the read/watch. 

 

When Smart spoke at a Johns Hopkins University panel last week, she explained one of the factors deterring her from escaping her attacker: She felt so worthless after being raped that she felt unfit to return to her society, which had communicated some hard and fast rules about premarital sexual contact.

“I remember in school one time, I had a teacher who was talking about abstinence,†Smart told the panel. “And she said, ‘Imagine you’re a stick of gum. When you engage in sex, that’s like getting chewed. And if you do that lots of times, you’re going to become an old piece of gum, and who is going to want you after that?’ Well, that’s terrible. No one should ever say that. But for me, I thought, ‘I’m that chewed-up piece of gum.’ Nobody re-chews a piece of gum. You throw it away. And that’s how easy it is to feel you no longer have worth. Your life no longer has value.† 

 

The most popular book among all the girls (especially the ones from very conservative families) when I was in middle school was Judy Blume's "Forever."  I read that, and far more explicit work.  It didn't affect my virginity one iota.  Having sexual feelings as a 16/17 year old is completely normal.  Reading about sex is also normal.  Being curious about sex is completely normal.  Just because a book mentions genitals and sexual intercourse does not make it pornography.  

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If I had to take an educated guess, I would say that I have most likely read more books than you have. I may not be a literary genius, but my love for reading spans many, many years. I'd say I have  400+ books in my own home library. And that is after I pared down some with my recent move.

 

I could be really rude and say that I've most likely given away more books than you've read, but why go there?

 

Your educated guess being based on a few forum posts? Not very educated to me. Snarky and rude maybe. 

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It is beyond my comprehension how someone could judge a book she hasn't read a "vulgar piece of garbage" based on a few lines. I could respect, "I find it unpleasant and would rather not read it".

 

Not all art is beautiful.

 

I read it, and I still consider it vulgar. I wouldn't go so far as saying my teen couldn't read it, but I would hope like crazy that they wouldn't run across it. I wouldn't be ok with them seeing it in a movie so why a book. I would let them see a movie with this topic covered, but not with this much detail.

 

I am really trying to understand.

 

Is the rape the issue?

Is the incest the issue?

Is the child abuse the issue?

Is it all three things that are the issue?

Would you not allow an older teen to read any book that covers these terms in such detail?

 

It's the detail. It's not necessary to write about exactly how he touched her, the sounds as it slid in, how it felt, which muscles tightened, that is going way way too far in my mind. It the cops don't even need or want to hear it, and my psychologist doesn't need to hear it, why on earth do we need to tell it to the kids.

 

You definitely are ill informed and ignorant if you are STILL saying these passages are unnecessary without having read the damn book.

 

THAT is what those of us are saying. And if you refuse to read the book, that's fine, but then keep your damn mouth shut on whether other people should read it. You don't have the knowledge to have an opinion.

 

The passages AS WRITTEN are unnecessary. they didn't need to be that explicit, and yes I've read the book.

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I don't think it's that difficult to see both sides of the issue.  

 

I understand why parents would never assign the book.  I understand why parents would.  Different types of families.  

 

Too bad it's become so nasty.  

 

It's not so nasty over on the other thread that I started last night.  We're discussing why "those" parts may have been included.  No name calling so far.

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I don't think it's that difficult to see both sides of the issue.  

 

I understand why parents would never assign the book.  I understand why parents would.  Different types of families.  

 

Too bad it's become so nasty.  

 

It's not so nasty over on the other thread that I started last night.  We're discussing why "those" parts may have been included.  No name calling so far.

 

Your thread has 5 posters on it. Give it time. lol

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Isn't the result the same for the child? I remember being told I could not read a book (White Fang) by a school librarian when I was... 7 or 8. I was already well into it and was so upset that I still remember it now. The book was "prohibited" because it was supposed to be above my reading level, not due to content. A teen whose parents ban a book s/he knows about and wants to read is going to feel much like a person who wants to read books banned by a government, I think. 

 

Comparing this book we are talking about to not being able to read White Fang as a child is a bit of a stretch.  Not allowing a child to read something because you think it isn't on their reading level is one thing.  Not allowing a child to read a book that is questionable for even an adult to read due to the content of the book, is totally another.

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"I think the book is something every 16 year old should read.  It's more than sex.  Sex is part of the plot, just as sex is part of life. "

 

I think even YOU know if all we were talking about was regular sex, this thread wouldn't be this long.

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Lol. Point taken. But as intelligent adults, are we not allowed to form opinions on literature? That is different than the personal attacks I have seen in this thread, no?

On literature I personally haven't read my opinion is quite limited. I think it is fine for someone to say "I've read an excerpt and it's not for me." "I've read other books by this author and I don't really see myself wanting to read more". "I started that book for the 17th time and like all the others dropped out by chapter six in (despair, disgust, boredom...)" "I really can't read that font." "I dislike books with blue covers."

 

I don't think it is appropriate for me to make sweeping pronouncements about the value or message of a book, or worse still, the values of those who enjoyed the book in some way, based on others' commentary, excerpts, the cover or typeface. If I haven't read the book, I am not in the position to analyze the book or form an opinion on its merits.

 

All opinions are not equally informed. I have never finished War and Peace. My very limited opinion on that book and Leo Tolstoy is not up to snuff with my opinion on the books of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, all of which I have read, most repeatedly. If you were interested in discussing a piece of Russian literature, I am a perfectly fine conversation partner for Notes from the Underground,

The Idiot and Crime and Punishment etc. I am not an informed conversant on War and Peace though. Does that make sense?

 

Furthermore someone who hasn't themselves cracked the book calling those that do read it or would assign it hardened to evil and filth is just insulting. I have shared many reasons, some very personal, why I have found this and other similarly explicit books on the same topics helpful and even healing to me. I am many things, not all good, but immoral and unfeeling to child rape? um, no. Just no.

I think any sound thinking person could see why it would be insulting to me to have my reasons for finding meaning in these sorts of books cast aside as moral depravity. Well, it would be insulting if I took those sorts of opinions seriously. I take seriously the opinions of those,

even opinions I disagree with like CrimsonWife and others, who have read the book. It is not snobbery to place less value in uninformed information. If people want to be taken seriously, they have to at least try to be serious. "Filth", "pornography" and "wet dream" are not serious criticisms of an unread book.

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"I think the book is something every 16 year old should read.  It's more than sex.  Sex is part of the plot, just as sex is part of life. "

 

I think even YOU know if all we were talking about was regular sex, this thread wouldn't be this long.

 

Actually, if we were talking about any book in which the sex was that explicit, I would be apposed to it being read by a 16 yo, and would even caution an adult against reading it. If I wouldn't watch a movie with sex shown that explicitly, why would I read a book with it. The hard topic, is meant to be a hard topic to read about. It's meant to make people uncomfortable. I'm glad that it still does make people uncomfortable, but it doesn't need that kind of graphic detail.

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I have failed as a parent because I won't let my kid read in detail about a man raping his child?????????????????????????

So I am a failure myself because I won't read it?????????????

 

 

You have judged a book unfit without reading the entire book. In my view that makes you unqualified to determin if it is fit or not.

 

Why do you insist on refering to a 17 year old as a kid? Did you birth a goat? If you meant child, then you are still incorrect. A 17 year old is a young adult, or in some states, an adult. 17 is not a child to protected from reality.

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On literature I personally haven't read my opinion is quite limited. I think it is fine for someone to say "I've read an excerpt and it's not for me." "I've read other books by this author and I don't really see myself wanting to read more". "I started that book for the 17th time and like all the others dropped out by chapter six in (despair, disgust, boredom...)" "I really can't read that font." "I dislike books with blue covers."

 

I don't think it is appropriate for me to make sweeping pronouncements about the value or message of a book, or worse still, the values of those who enjoyed the book in some way, based on others' commentary, excerpts, the cover or typeface. If I haven't read the book, I am not in the position to analyze the book or form an opinion on its merits.

 

All opinions are not equally informed. I have never finished War and Peace. My very limited opinion on that book and Leo Tolstoy is not up to snuff with my opinion on the books of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, all of which I have read, most repeatedly. If you were interested in discussing a piece of Russian literature, I am a perfectly fine conversation partner for Notes from the Underground,

The Idiot and Crime and Punishment etc. I am not an informed conversant on War and Peace though. Does that make sense?

 

Furthermore someone who hasn't themselves cracked the book calling those that do read it or would assign it hardened to evil and filth is just insulting. I have shared many reasons, some very personal, why I have found this and other similarly explicit books on the same topics helpful and even healing to me. I am many things, not all good, but immoral and unfeeling to child rape? um, no. Just no.

I think any sound thinking person could see why it would be insulting to me to have my reasons for finding meaning in these sorts of books cast aside as moral depravity. Well, it would be insulting if I took those sorts of opinions seriously. I take seriously the opinions of those,

even opinions I disagree with like CrimsonWife and others, who have read the book. It is not snobbery to place less value in uninformed information. If people want to be taken seriously, they have to at least try to be serious. "Filth", "pornography" and "wet dream" are not serious criticisms of an unread book.

 

I do understand what you are saying, and I understand that many of you take issue that we are criticizing a book we have not read. But not every book deserves to be read by every individual. That's what book jacket descriptions, reviews, and excerpts are for. Many of us have "Cracked open this book" by reading the excerpts, and we have decided that we are opposed to the content. Is that not a fair thing to do? The judgments here, fair and right to do for literature IMO, were based on the excerpts posted. Those ARE a part of the book.

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"I think the book is something every 16 year old should read.  It's more than sex.  Sex is part of the plot, just as sex is part of life. "

 

I think even YOU know if all we were talking about was regular sex, this thread wouldn't be this long.

 

OK...I'll take it a step further.  Rape is very much a part of life for many many women.  I think the worldwide stats are 1:3 women experience abuse in some form.  1:5 college women experience forced sex.  Incest is a part of far more children's lives than I would wish. In my family, my uncle didn't think it mattered because I was adopted.  Call it the Woody Allen syndrome.  93% of kids who are abused under the age of 18 know their abuser.  A 16/17 year old should know that.  It can be discussed. 

 

Life is messy.  Life is violent for many.  Right now in Syria, human rights orgs tell us that rape is a tool of war.  Prisoners have their family members of both sexes raped in front of them.  That's reality.  That should be part of the discussion in saying do we intervene.  All wars involve rape.  If you are studying history with your kids, and you don't talk about the rape of Nanking, or the rapes that occurred after liberation in Europe. You are doing them a disservice.  You are not giving them an accurate picture of what war really is...what it does to people.  It's far more than just deaths.   Heck, we have a problem right now with American soldiers raping other soldiers.  You can't hide people from the messy things in life... and IMHO, if you are doing that to a soon-to-be-adult, you are doing them a disservice.  

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I am amazed with some of these posts. I homeschool because I want my son to have a better education not because I have buried my head in the sand and want my son to do the same. When I joined this forum a year ago I had hoped to find other like-minded parents, but the longer I am here the more I wonder if people here use this forum to find support for sheltering their child from reality and hope to continue to control children throughout their life and to do so need to keep their children home to drill fear into them so they will remain under their control for as long as possible.

 

In some states 17 is the age of majority. 17 is the average age for a junior in high school and the target age for reading this that we are talking about. If your 17 year old is so sheltered by your approved choices for literature that you cannot bring them to be challenged by this book at age 17 then you have failed.  If you flipped out over a few small passages and decided based on that to ban the book, then maybe classical education is not something you should be offering your children.

 

We are a diverse board and each homeschooling family does so for varying reasons. 

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We are a diverse board and each homeschooling family does so for varying reasons.

Yes, I have already been told that there are people here who wish to raise their children in such a way that girls receive no education beyond being a submissive wife and mother.

 

I object to restricting knowledge, no matter the reason.

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But not every book deserves to be read by every individual.

 

I wholeheartedly agree. 

 

I wish that people could acknowledge this, instead of taking the extra step of saying, "Something that is not right for me is therefore bad, wrong, immoral, Satanic, titillating, filthy, and pornographic for everyone."

 

There are books I don't want to read, movies and tv shows I don't want to watch, and music I don't want to listen to. However, I don't label these things as unacceptable for everyone and say that the people who do find value with them are possessed and immoral.

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I wholeheartedly agree.

 

I wish that people could acknowledge this, instead of taking the extra step of saying, "Something that is not right for me is therefore bad, wrong, immoral, Satanic, titillating, filthy, and pornographic for everyone."

 

There are books I don't want to read, movies and tv shows I don't want to watch, and music I don't want to listen to. However, I don't label these things as unacceptable for everyone and say that the people who do find value with them are possessed and immoral.

 

It swings both ways...not everyone who does not see it as a literary masterpiece read by all high schoolers should be seen as incapable of classical education. But such horrific and yes ignorant (to borrow the term so loosely thrown around in this thread) accusations have been made here.

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I do understand what you are saying, and I understand that many of you take issue that we are criticizing a book we have not read. But not every book deserves to be read by every individual. That's what book jacket descriptions, reviews, and excerpts are for. Many of us have "Cracked open this book" by reading the excerpts, and we have decided that we are opposed to the content. Is that not a fair thing to do? The judgments here, fair and right to do for literature IMO, were based on the excerpts posted. Those ARE a part of the book.

I am sure you have heard the expression "you can't judge a book by its cover". Forming a strong and insulting opinion on very little, very select passages is little better than that. Such an opinion simply does not have the same weight or merit as one formed after reading the book. Or even reading some academic articles and perhaps other, powerful and non sexually explicit excerpts. In reading JUST excerpts and articles only you miss a lot. You just can't claim to have the same depth of understanding as someone who has really, actually read the book. If that is insulting to someone, they are being very silly.

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You have judged a book unfit without reading the entire book. In my view that makes you unqualified to determin if it is fit or not.

 

Why do you insist on refering to a 17 year old as a kid? Did you birth a goat? If you meant child, then you are still incorrect. A 17 year old is a young adult, or in some states, an adult. 17 is not a child to protected from reality.

My grandmother still refers to her 40 year olds as her "kids". This is not some strange custom...I would say most or even close to all people refer to their offspring as kids or children. I suppose I could call me 17 year old my "semi adopted son who was born in '96 whom is not yet of governmental legal age however behaves in an adult manner, except when he plays video games." though I generally I respond with "him? Yeah he's my kid."

 

I find it odd you've made the choice to focus in on that.

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Exactly why I feel it would be better to wait until college to assign books with "mature" content, when the students have had more life experience & are in a position to get more out of the novel. It's actually rather patronizing to appropriate the pain of those whose lives have been far more difficult- kind of like the Roberta Flack song "Killing Me Softly".

 

So a year or two later when they read it in a class with college freshmen they will get more out of it some how?

 

How much experience are these students going to get between graduation and their first college lit class, which maybe include this book?

 

:iagree: I would rather they read it in in high school where there is more of a support structure if they should need it.

You know, I find it pretty disrespectful the way some people are talking about Morrison. She's one of your national living treasures and a Nobel Prize winner. To refer to her books as the work of Satan is just mind boggling.

 

I disagree with book banning and censorship, yet if pressed I would support the right of a parent or student to request the study of an alternative book. I would especially support it in individual circumstances where specific incidents in the book could act as a trigger.

 

Kudos to the poster who actually read the book and still found it distasteful. That's a reader's choice.

 

But people, tone down the language. Agree or disagree on the literary or artistic merits, but don't abuse a writer who has worked extraordinarily hard at her craft and is critically acknowledged as one of your best writers.

 

I agree with the bolded. As I said in one of my previous posts, I would think carefully before assigning this book to a class, juniors or seniors, because each class and each individual is different. I considered assigning my sophmores Speak last year, then I found out that one of the girls had some issues in her past that made this a book that she should perhaps not be assigned. I decided that since I, at that point, did not know the students very well I would assign a different book. I would have had no issues assigning Speak to my previous sophmore class. A colleague wanted to show a student group a movie in which one of the characters father commits suicide. One of the girls had a father who had just attempted suicide and was in the hospital. The teacher and I discussed it and decided that she would warn the whole class that there was a suicide in the movie and that she would talk to the girl specifically and give everyone the option to not watch the movie. I would tell students that this book has uncomfortable scenes of a sexual nature and let them decide if they thought they could cope with it.

 

It is censorship if a teacher or school or curriculum puts it on the syllabus for valid educational reasons and then parental or political pressure forces them to remove it.  I don't understand how that isn't censorship.  Obviously book lists change for all kinds of reasons, most of which aren't censorship at all, but if a syllabus changed for this reason only then it would be censorship.

 

I agree with all the voices saying that parents should be able to opt for an alternative.  There is no book that's exactly the same without the graphic content, obviously.  Trying seems silly to me.  And in a way, it proves the point that this book has a unique perspective and there probably isn't another book at this level that address all these issues.  I think it's fine to substitute another book that is at a similar complex reading level and has one or two of the themes or perspectives in this book.

 

 

I see Game of Thrones recommend for teens on many lists. That was one, as a SA survivor, that I almost burned. There was no point to the explicit detailing of child rape in there. None. I've heard people say that "well, people used to have sex at that age and it was fiiiine." I think we can all agree that it is a fictional universe, not historical fact, and we are all happy this is no longer the Middle Ages. That is one book I admit I would get up in arms about requiring it in class. But Blue Eyes is NOT that kind of book. The purpose and usage is to prove a point against the way society and pedophiles present child rape. We brush it under the table. I understand not wanting the details. TRUST ME here. But she's not tittlating with it. She's showing the true depravity in a way many people don't want to face. Like people who still blame the victim or defend rapists because they're "good people".

 

:iagree:

Yes, Jesus himself wrote explicit details about these play by play in the Bible, but since he didn't win a Nobel Prize, it sure wasn't as beautifully written and artistic as Toni's.  :001_rolleyes:

Really- you cannot compare the Bible to the stuff in this book. 

 

I can read books about incest,rape, and child abuse. I just don't choose to read it in massive detail where it paints a picture in my head disgusting detail by disgusting detail. 

 

Why can't we compare the Bible to this stuff. I find the Bible VERY disturbing, but for cultural literacy I might require students to read parts of it.

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The thread op says she is shocked that this book is on the common core reading list. While that is indeed shocking, what shocks me even more is that people have become so hardened and desensitized to every kind of filth and sin, that they see nothing wrong with it, and even WANT their kids to read it! That is what makes me literally feel sick to the stomach. Had no idea there were so many adults who felt this way. At least this thread made a nice way for me to add to my ignore list. I am sorry, but I cannot possibly be interested in what people who are on such a totally different moral plane have to say about anything. Going to crawl back in my non-intellecutual, unenlightened hole now. Hope I never have to come out of it.

 

I couldn't have said it better.  I also had no idea how callused our society has become that they think this is good literature.  There are TONS of much better books out there to read.

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