I was horrified and appalled when I arrived at my son’s classroom yesterday for parent visitation and found this book on his desk. As he was doing his work, I started to flip through it. A couple of things jumped out at me. “Have you ever saved food in your belly button for later?” and “Have you ever eaten your own scab?” and this gem, “Have you ever been sent home from school for poor hygiene? Better wipe better next time, dude.”
My quotes are paraphrases because I do not have the book handy.
Why do I not have the book handy? Because it was promptly returned to the school book fair. Yes, I was temporarily relieved when I found out this book was not a classroom assignment. But then I returned to my state of disbelief when I discovered that it was available for purchase through the school book fair.
Now, why was my son buying a book I had not approved? That is a good question. I did tell him I wanted to approve his list of books before he went shopping, and he blatantly disobeyed and took his allowance and shopped anyway. But that’s another issue. It is my opinion that this book should not have been an option. It’s just gross. Shouldn’t a book fair be full of quality children’s literature? Or am I becoming an antique?
My son had already started filling out his journal, so momentarily I considered just letting it go. I told him we would just throw it away and count it as a lesson learned. But another mom was looking over my shoulder as I perused the book, and she asked me what I thought of it. I told her in no uncertain terms my disgust. She said she agreed, and she encouraged me to take it back, writing and all.
Now, I try not to get on my high horse unless the cause is really worthwhile. And I’m not sure this one is a hill to die on. But for whatever reason, I couldn’t let this one go. Soon I was marching down to the book fair with the offensive book in hand.
The mom running the book fair informed me that this was not the first complaint she had received about this book. WELL I SHOULD HOPE NOT! Another mom standing around spoke up and said, “Those books are very popular.”
I replied, “Well, they shouldn’t even be here. If someone wants to go to Amazon.com and purchase one, to each his own, but it doesn’t belong here.” The other moms around me seemed to agree. At least I’m not alone in my indignation.
The mom running the book fair promptly gave me my $5 back and said that she would speak to the company who runs the book fair and pass on this information. I thanked her politely and went on my merry way $5 richer.
I’m glad I spoke up. No, there is nothing morally wrong with the books. But come on. Let’s have some literary standards. Isn’t that a novel idea? Hahaha. Novel.
What would you have done?