Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Stupidification of our Youth

We had parent teacher conferences on Tuesday. Of course, Diva and CJ are lovely and the teachers love having them in class, so there are no concerns there. The thing that concerns me is the kind of books they are putting out there for kids these days.

After conferences, I took Diva up to the Book Fair so she could pick out a new book. She quickly grabbed one with her favorite toy du jour, and we were on our merry way. I figured I didn't have anything to worry about, because I remember all our book fair books being the Cadelcott Award winners and things like that.

But when I got home, I was sadly disappointed. This book is TERRIBLE. I mean it's a cute premise and the general idea is good, but the vocabulary is atrocious! There are abbreviations of words that don't even make sense. And when it talked about best friends having sleepovers, it said that those times were great for LOL'ing. WTF?

Is that were we are headed? Do we need to start dumbing our kids down to speak cyber-lingo at the age of five? No wonder foreign schools are so far ahead of us developmentally!

I guess it just seems like the general quality of a lot of things has gone downhill as of late. Like the Powers That Be are more obsessed with putting out 10 loads of crap so they can sell as much as possible than they are with making sure what they get out there for kids is good quality story telling. I think of the dad in the movie Elf and how he wants to ship out a book where the last two pages are missing just because it will save them the cost of having to reprint the books.

And maybe I'm foolish to think that everything at a book fair should be of a higher calibur, but good Lord, it's SCHOLATIC! Scholastic should at least be. . .well. . .scholarly. Not like you're letting a 10 year old explain to a 5 year old what to expect now that she's got a BFF. Arrgh!

Perhaps what's bothering me the most is the fact that it's just making me feel even O-L-D-E-R than I already do.

What do you parents think? Have you noticed that the calibur of books has decreased in the bast 10 years? If not, what kind of books are you reading to your kids?

Also, there was a book that I loved when I was little, it was all done in black & white. You would read the story one way, then turn the book upside down and finish reading the story. It was super cool the way the pictures would change and was a really cool city story if I remember correctly. Do any of you remember a book like this? I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the book, so if someone else remembers it, PLEASE help me!!!


Anonymous said...

Do you or your parents still have any of your old books? I know my favorite books as a kid (especially when I started getting interested in chapter books) were the books that used to belong to my mom and her sisters. Dig those out, your kids will love them.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree. Books that are in schools, particularly at book fairs, should be "scholastic."

And, no scholastic book should use anything even remotely close to "LOL'ing"!!!!!!

What the heck is that?!@??!!??

Jenn said...

we read alot of dr. suess and shel silverstien at our house. I too have pulled out all my books from childhood and we both love those.

~was at a friends house last night and her 10 year old was reading out loud before bed. the title of her book "Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants" I'm standing there scratching my head. This looks like great literature!

Stephanie said...

That is just wrong. My husband can't stand to read to Mark because the books are so inaccurate. The stories don't make any sense and are just a group of unrelated sentences.

I agree with you. America is dumbed down.

My person favorite book?
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

I will read it all by myself.

ficklechick said...

What drives me crazy at the book fair is how they have so many toys for sale. I give my kids money to buy books and they come home with crappy toys instead!

BSG said...

My favorite books EVER that I buy for every baby my friends ever have are "Love You Forever" and "The Paperbag Princess (which I get for the girls AND the boys -- never too young to learn how to NOT treat a girl like crap)" -- greatest books ever!! :)

Anonymous said...

My little brother read the Captain Underpants books. I never did, but he loved them. It's little boy humor. I understand the need for more intelligent literature for kids, but if authors are writing books that will get kids reading on their own, especially now when there are tvs and playstations and computers to contend with, that's gotta say something, right?

Bug said...

I can't believe it actually had LOL in the damn book. Good greif.

Molly said...

Jamie Lee Curtis has some great books, depending on the age of your kids, and the illustrations are really bright. I read my son "Is There Really A Human Race?" and I think he is too young to understand it all right now, but he loved the pictures and I know one day he will love the words.

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later those who studied language, grammar, and spelling, are going to apply for jobs only to be turned down because they can't communicate clearly with the LOLer’s. Joy.