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message 1: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments Do you try to get your kid(s) to read only high-brow books? Or is it fine if they read low-brow books?

My son is getting interesting in Pokemon and I am wondering to what extent I should buy Pokemon books for him! And if you have any Pokemon recommendations, please let me know!


message 2: by Gina (new)

Gina (grrb) ANYTHING kids read is good: the newspaper, magazines, comic books, the backs of cereal boxes, etc. The variety will build their vocabulary, build confidence in their reading, help them to see that reading is about recreation as well as education. It is especially important to let them pick out things to read without questioning their choices and also, to see the adults in their lives reading for fun.

Besides, we adults read more than Kafka, Dickens and Thoreau, right?

J-Lynn Van Pelt I second everything Gina said! As a Reading Specialist I cringe when teachers, librarians, and parents try to take the fun out of reading. Let the kids choose! It is all about them remaining excited about reading. There is no such thing as low-brow books, the educational and social benefits of reading come from ALL reading.

message 4: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra I understand wanting to turn up a nose at Pokemon. But really, be glad he wants to read - lots of children's books are not great literature, and that's ok! Most of the books I give my tutoring student are just ok. But as long as he likes them, and it gets him reading, that's the imporant thing.

The good thing is he learns reading can be fun - an important lesson some kids never learn. And it still helps build vocabulary and reading skills so he can move on to better things later.

It could be bad to try to push too much "high-brow" on to him that reading seems boring and like work. Reading for pleasure is a great thing for kids to learn, and they benefit from it in many ways.

message 5: by Martha (new)

Martha (sep780) I agree with the others. Let your son ead Pokemon at least he's reading. My suggestion is to have some other books around too like ones you enjoyed when you were a kid. That way he can pick them up to read whenever he wants to.

message 6: by Amy (new)

Amy (ldtchr) I am a learning disabilities specialist and work with many kids with reading struggles - I have to agree, if he wants to read and it's not material going against your beliefs or containing material that is truly too old for him, go for it!

Yesterday, one of my most reluctant readers was excited because he wanted to know if I went to the library over the weekend :). He and I had requested a wrestling book. When I checked it out, I mentioned to my daughter that it was for school and the librarian asked me if it was for recess. When I got to class and saw this boys face I was have to say that I was more excited than he was that it wasn't for recess - it was so he could learn and enjoy reading!

The road to "high-brow" has to start with the same bricks as all others .. .

message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sammis (caligula03) How old is your son?

There are board books that feature Pokemon stories that are cute for younger readers. There are the chapter books by Tracey West that are adaptations of the animated series. There is of course the all important Pokedex.

Both my kids are into Pokemon so we have a lot of the books.

message 8: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments He just turned five and has only recently fallen for Pokemon, but man, has he fallen hard!

I just ordered "Get Well, Pikachu!" and "Pikachu's First Kiss" (for Valentine's Day) as well as a guide book that tells about the different kinds of Pokemon.

(He is not actually reading yet by the way. Sorry to imply that he was. I read the books to him, or he pretends to read.)

message 9: by Jo (new)

Jo Hi Kerei,
I echo Gina's thoughts as well as many of the others. My son was/is dyslexic and K-3 grade was a uphill struggle everyday. He loved Pokemon and I used it. Every time he would say he could not learn all that was coming at him, I would point out how sucessfully and quickly he had learned 56 Pokemon, all there strengths and weaknesses....
It really helped because it is complicated. By the 4th grade he was reading at grade level.
He quickly slid into Harry Potter, as well as the classics. At 15 now, he has a box of Pokemon in the back of the closet somewhere, a room full of books and reads on a college level.
He is also in Honors classes, and tomorrow will be Macbeth in his language arts class because he interprets Shakespeare a little better then his classmate. I am forever in debt to Pokemon... I promise he will outgrow them to soon. :)!

message 10: by Rachael (new)

Rachael I don't have kids of my own, but I do work in daycare. I think if any books gets them excited, and they want read to (my kids are mostly 2 year olds, so they can't read yet), then I'm all for it.

message 11: by Val (new)

Val (valz) Once they can read it's mostly up to them but before then it's good to choose books you can stand to read over and over.

message 12: by Hayley (new)

Hayley I started off reading or my mum reading to me, cartoon caharacter books - they kept me interested and by the age of 7 I had a reading age of 12 - I have degree in english Literature but I still love the low-brow stuff - sometimes you need something that isn't going to baffle the brain - especially after a hard day at work or school. The others are right in saying you should let him pick his own 'reading' material and you can then vet it for him - say if he is too young or the subject matter isn't apprioriate(sp)my mum found this the easiest way to deal with my reding.

message 13: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Radisavljevic (barbrad) I find it's good to go with a child's interest in what he reads himself. My son got off to a slow start in independent reading, but he loved to be read to. We always read as a family after dinner -- usually things above the children's reading level that they enjoyed. We were really selective about the books we read aloud because we wanted them to model good English usage and imaginative writing to develop a taste for well-written books in our children. We also chose books that had lots of things worthy of discussion. These reading sessions helped build an oral vocabulary greater than the reading vocabulary.

Back to my son. He enjoyed the couple of Thornton Burgess animal stories I read to him and in about the third grade he started to read them by himself. We read the Narnia books and Ralph Moody's Little Britches series and a few other western biographies and memoirs written at adult level because the kids liked pioneer and horse stories and these books had both. But Jason still preferred playing outside to reading as recreation. When he was about 11 he got interested in reading Boy's Life, and then, when we started reading the Patrick McManus books aloud, he was ready to read all we could get our hands on independently. I always knew when he was reading them in bed because I could hear the laughter.

He was interested in detectives, and we had read a biography of Allen Pinkerton Aloud. He was fascinated. So I bought a copy of Cowboy Detective (another adult autobiography) when he was 13. I started to read it to him aloud, but I lost interest. When I said I didn't want to read anymore of it aloud, he continued it on his own, even though it was really above his reading level. The interest was there, and he was reading it until the day he died at 14. Never got to finish it, but he never gave up on it. That's what interest can do.

I now remember that he also loved reading the books in series written by Lee Roddy, a Christian writer of adventure and mysteries for upper elementary students, 8-12). Those probably helped him develop fluency.

I guess my strategy was to read the best books aloud to develop vocabulary and an appetite for good literature, and then let them read what they liked on their own. And I always made sure lots of enticing books on their reading levels were around. One more thing that helped -- we did not own a television. And this was before we had the Internet. Computers in the home were still new. We had one, but weren't on line.

message 14: by Skylar (last edited Nov 21, 2008 09:03AM) (new)

Skylar Burris (skylarburris) "I guess my strategy was to read the best books aloud to develop vocabulary and an appetite for good literature, and then let them read what they liked on their own."

This is the strategy I wish to follow, although currently my children are both too young to read by themselves, so I am confronted with the original poster's question--how much of the "low brow" stuff to read TO them. My main problem, in all honesty, is that I hate reading it. It bores me to read it. I enjoy reading better children's literature, but reading the Clifford books, the Scooby Doo books, the Dora books they want to annoys me. What I do is let them each choose a few books at the library, and then I choose a few books for each of them, so we have some they want read to them and some I want to read to them. They always end up liking the ones I choose just as much as the ones they choose, so it works out okay, but that way I'm not putting down their tastes and they are expressing their own interests. I will read the ones I choose FOR them more than once, but the ones they choose for themselves I immediately put in the return bag once we've read them.

But honestly, I think the books they choose they choose in large part because of recognizable characters--as you mentioned, Pokemon, and not because they necessarily like them AS BOOKS. They want to know more about that character. So I'm torn -- I'm not sure how much I want to encourage that commercialism and, in a sense, social conformity (the characters are known by friend and school mates, so...) instead of encouraging reading better more classic stories. I'm not going to be saying no, no, no, when my child says, "Will you read me this book," but, at the same time, I want to limit the commercial television characters we follow into reading so that they get a broader, deeper cultural outlook, so that they build literacy in the old fairy tales, nursery rhymes, etc.

So, in short, my solution: read a lot to them, and that way you can mix in more good with the bad.

message 15: by Terry (new)

Terry (terrydohertyreadingtub) This is a great, very timely discussion. We have always preferred books with a little more "meat," when we read with our daughter. That said, we also don't like being beat over the head with "Vital life lessons," either. It's always been compromise: a little bit of princess and a little bit of good story.

C (a first grader) picked a Captain Underpants book at her school's book fair. It is definitely not "high brow," and wouldn't be a book we'd select. In fact, we thought it would be a book we would read to her. But she was so captivated that she stayed up late (8:30) reading it, working through unfamiliar words by herself. THEN she tried to read it by the din of the nightlight. It's hard to argue with a self-motivated reader.

Even though she's reading somewhat independently, we'll still read together. And we'll continue to balance the content and compromise: she can have a chapter of the Captain, but then we pick the other book.

message 16: by Peter (new)

Peter (bookish_peter) I'm a total book snob. I won't even allow "my" books for my son to be in the same pile as the modern garbage he has. Of course, the books that I've bought for him were mostly published between 1920 and 1950, and many of them are in somewhat delicate condition anyway. Most, alas, are incredibly rare and virtually irreplaceable.

I read to him every night, but I won't read any books that I dislike (including virtually all Disney, and almost anything else written in the last 30 years). If he wants to hear one of those books, my wife reads it to him - and I usually read him a good book after.

We've been plowing through the Doctor Dolittle series, and I've been taking special care to get the uncensored versions whenever possible. But after the last book we took a break from Lofting, and on a whim I started reading him The Black Stallion. I suspected it might be a little too advanced for him (he just turned seven), but he's absolutely mesmerized. He stayed awake a good forty-five minutes later than I expected tonight, and kept me reading for dozens of extra pages. I had to promise him that I'd read more to him tomorrow morning in the car, too!

message 17: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Radisavljevic (barbrad) Peter,

You're a man after my own heart! However, good writing for children didn't stop in 1960. There are still a few newer books worth reading to your children, just not many. As an online book vendor for educators of all kinds, including homeschoolers, I try to read a lot of the books I buy as soon as I find time, and I usually only buy books which appear from publisher reviews or educator recommendations to be books I'd let my own child read if I still had children at home. The books I like best I review in blogs or here, now that I've discovered this site. Unfortunately, I have to stock a few books that got Newbery awards or that are on school reading lists because there is demand for them from schools. I usually don't carry more than one of these at a time. I can't believe some of the books that have received the Newbery award.

The trend today is to get kids reading, and they'll publish whatever it takes even if the books model the atrocious language spoken by today's children, not to mention the disrespectful attitudes so many modern children display toward parents and teachers. When I grew up in the 1950's I'd never heard the phrase "on accident." I first heard it when my own children started to use it. I have no idea where they learned it -- probably from neighborhood children. Now I see books that include "he goes" and "she goes" to replace "he said" and "she said." Then we wonder why children have problems with the usage portions of standardized tests. That's my rant for today.

message 18: by Peter (new)

Peter (bookish_peter) I agree that some good books have been written for children after 1960. For example, I accidentally discovered the Frog and Toad books, and we love them - they're some of my very favorite books to read aloud, and even my wife loves to listen to me read them (apparently I do the voices well).

On the other hand, I despised The Polar Express - both the book and the movie. They struck me as the most soulless attempt to manufacture an ersatz Christmas "classic" that I had ever seen.

Right now I'm reading Walter Farley's The Black Stallion to my son. I was pretty dubious about it; it's probably too advanced for him, since he's only just turned seven. But he's riveted. He stayed up way past his bedtime as I was reading to him, and kept asking me what would happen next. Go figure!

As for improper grammar in modern books, it seems to be ubiquitous. And not only in books; in advertisements, on signs, on TV, everywhere. One of the things I like about old books for children is that the vocabulary is often so much more complex than the baby talk that's de rigueur these days.

message 19: by Peter (new)

Peter (bookish_peter) Abigail wrote: "I tend to think that our perception of previous generations, and the overall quality of their literary output, is somewhat skewed. People would be fairly surprised, I imagine, how many poorly edite..."

Perhaps so. And I'm sure that there's a strong element of nostalgia involved, as well; the books that my parents read to me as a child are still framed in a sort of golden glow in my memory. On the other hand, I have found that I can enjoy well-written modern books just as much. They're just more rare.

And the publishing industry itself has really changed, particularly in the past ten or twenty years. Most of the vintage children's books that I have collected were illustrated by their authors, for example. A modern children's author that I know tells me that not only did she not illustrate her books, she wasn't even part of the process to select an illustrator - her publisher made the selection, and wouldn't allow her to contact the illustrator at all!

This reflects a fundamental change in the book business, I think. Where once an author had some degree of autonomy and control over their creation, now everything is focus-grouped, planned, and calculated for maximum market impact by the publishers. They're pulled the heart out of literature and replaced it with a cash register.

Oh, I won't pretend that money hasn't been a major factor in publishing since Gutenberg put his first press together. But things have changed dramatically for the worse in the past decade or two.

message 20: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Radisavljevic (barbrad) What bothers me about modern publishing for children is the trend toward not only using peer language in the dialogs and making bad attitudes seem "cool," but also the emphasis on dark themes. When I get a publisher catalog these days from a major house, probably at least 60% of it consists of dark themed series books, dumbed down versions of such classics as The Little House books into a yet easier to read series, books that have nothing much to say with little redeeming value except great pictures, and the modern series books that model bad language and bad attitudes so they can be "with it." I won't buy them, except accidentally (should I say "on accident?" because I couldn't see before buying.

message 21: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) I've had some parents express frustration that their students aren't reading "big enough" or "complicated enough" books--"bringing home "comic books" for goodness' sake!" These same parents have come to me worried that their kids just don't like to read. Well, I can not keep Bone, Baby Mouse, Pokemon and Star Wars titles on the shelves, but what I've observed is that these titles are attractive to both the lower-level AND the higher-level readers. I've seen impromptu student discussions over these books and also several students gathered around a book reading over one another's shoulders.

As a note about "comic books" (they were referring to our graphic novels), I owe a debt of gratitude to Jeff Smith and his Bone series. His "comic books" turned the tide for my once-reluctant-reader son. Unbeknownst to me, he'd been comparing his reading to my reading. I'm a fast reader and just zip through books. One day he came to me in a flurry of excitement telling me that he'd just read the WHOLE book that afternoon. It was the first Bone book. I'd had no idea that he thought he was a poor reader b/c he wasn't reading fast. We had a great discussion over how differently people read--that fast isn't better--just different---and that, in fact, reading more slowly, he retains more than I do (he liked that). He quickly moved from those "comic books" into higher level chapter books and there's been no stopping him since. I've told that story to a few of my frustrated parents at school and they have found, to their surprise and my relief, that their balking child has suddenly gotten excited about reading again. Yay "Baby Mouse" and "Bone"!

I agree whole-heartedly with those comments here about mixing it up. I think of it the same way I think about nutrition. I know I should eat a balanced diet, but the occasional Krispy Kreme donut sure does sweeten things up a bit. So, will I continue to add Pokemon and Hannah Montana to my library? Yes. Do I think those titles have been "great literature"? No. The trick is, once the students have read those books and want more, I know I can suggest some things that they might like to try while they're waiting for the other ones to come in. "You liked ____________? Why not try ____________."

Thanks for all the food for thought you guys! This discussion has definitely been thought provoking.

message 22: by Mary (new)

Mary Crabtree (boonebridgebookscom) Ronda - I vote for Crispy Creams...wait...I mean comic books and graphic novels :)
I may have not been drawn to them as a child but they are definitely good at getting reluctant readers to! I also think those graphic/comic readers often get their fill and branch out to science fiction which is a rich and diverse category that can really help create life readers. I myself was completely satisfied with Anne of Green Gables, the Borrowers....
And having been in this industry for years...we vote with our pocketbooks! The publishers are putting out dark and gothic novels because the public happens to be gobbling them up. The Vampire scene is not only popular with kids (and making money) but with adults now too. Prime example: Charlaine Harris' series of Sookie Stackhouse novels. I personally think that it's related to our scary times and people and kids want to escape in their reading.
Fun topic!

message 23: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) Mary wrote: "Ronda - I vote for Crispy Creams...wait...I mean comic books and graphic novels :)
I may have not been drawn to them as a child but they are definitely good at getting reluctant readers to!..."

Why not Krispy Kremes AND comics and graphic novels?! Yummmm! I mean, yay! :D

message 24: by April Ann (last edited Dec 31, 2008 05:33PM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) I read MAD magazine (which explains my sick sense of humor) and all the comics books that were popular back in the day. My parents also encouraged me to read what I like which, I believe, fostered my love of reading. Part of the fun as a child and and adult is discovering new books and genres.

The comic books in my day were the Archie and Richie Rich comics. I just love Captain Underpants and Baby Mouse. Wow, would it have been fun to enjoy those when I was little!

I read classics to my daughter and her "Rainbow Fairy" books that she loves. I used to read the Goosebump books to my two boys who loved a scary story and oldest daughter was all about Winnie the Pooh!

With that said, I'm picky about what I read for enjoyment now. My time to read is limited so I make careful choices and I take heed of recommendations.
(Marking Black Stallion down as a "To read aloud" to my daughter!)

message 25: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6914 comments Mod
Just found this discussion - gotta put my two cents in. My son read Captain Underpants avidly - now he reads well and widely (at age 14).

I believe, Chandra, you said it best: "Because my dad encouraged me to read what I liked (no matter what it happened to be) I trusted his other recommendations."

That being said - Peter, thank you for sharing your opinion re The Polar Express. I didn't like the movie or the book, art, text, or message. Now I don't feel so alone.

message 26: by Peter (new)

Peter (bookish_peter) Thanks, Cheryl, for reminding me about this thread. I've rediscovered another post-1960 series for children that's truly outstanding: The Three Investigators, specifically the ten books written by the series creator, Robert Arthur. They're virtually perfect books for boys. Unfortunately they seem to be out of print, and most of the copies I've found are annoyingly re-written to replace the original "introducer", Alfred Hitchcock with a fictional writer/detective.

My son is eight and a half now, and I don't think I've ever seen him more fascinated by a book.

We're also reading Alice In Wonderland (both books, and yes, I know that's not the proper title). I was afraid that the somewhat archaic language might put him off, but he really likes it so far. We're reading a replica of the original edition, with, of course, the original Tenniel illustrations; it's a lovely book, although very old and fragile. It belonged to my grandmother long ago.

message 27: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 9083 comments Mod
J-Lynn wrote: "I second everything Gina said! As a Reading Specialist I cringe when teachers, librarians, and parents try to take the fun out of reading. Let the kids choose! It is all about them remaining exc..."

And also, most of us (if we are honest with ourselves) also have certain so-called low-brow books we read or like to read for relaxation. Why should we deny our children this option?

message 28: by Licia (new)

Licia Hello, I hate to come in as a new member in opposition but I agree only to a point. My youngest daughter chose only Disney type (popular characters) books at the library and then when I read them to her she was bored. I think she was swayed by the marketing and picking by the cover. I would suggest other books that her older sisters loved, but she would have no part of it. I could see she was not developing that love of words her sisters had developed.
I stopped taking her to the library with a good excuse. I brought books home. I surveyed what it was she actually did like without the market dictating with its flash and budget. Her tastes ran a different course than her sisters' but she did end up loving the books that sparked imagination and improved her vocabulary while representing girls as strong, active participants in their lives. Soon she picked out these books for herself, after the don't judge a book by its cover talk. She is 17, a strong writer and reader today, able to read across many areas and leap tall buildings in a single bound. Sorry had to add that.

message 29: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6914 comments Mod
Chandra, Licia - being stealthy and subversive is clever, and sometimes that's what it takes, and if it works, great! I, personally, had to control my impulses in that direction so that I wasn't caught in something my child would feel betrayed about.

I mean, as I'm sure we all know, at some point we have to be honest about why we don't like to have Disney books and junk food and toy guns (or whatever we don't like) in the house. If not, they'll never actually learn the lesson. Like sneaking grated carrots into the spaghetti sauce - after they say 'nummy' you want to point out that they survived a serving of vegetables, right? :)

message 30: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6914 comments Mod
Re' the core of this thread - I've reread some of the old 'classics' and I'm no longer nearly as impressed by some of them as others still seem to be. Five Little Peppers and How They Grew and The Railway Children are not worth keeping in print, I strongly feel, for example. Most other stuff by Nesbit I've seen is, as are those by Eleanor Estes.

message 31: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments I still have 5 of my Five Little Peppers books, though I haven't reread them in decades. If it was up to me, just about every book would remain in print. Somebody somewhere would want to read just about every book.

message 32: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Abigail, I know. I was responding the the comment about wishing certain books weren't in print. So many great books are OOP. I wish they were all obtainable, well most of them.

message 33: by Peter (new)

Peter (bookish_peter) Abigail wrote: "Absolutely no need to apologize, Licia! As it says in our group description, all opinions are welcome, as long as they are respectfully expressed. Please don't ever feel that you cannot offer a dif..."

Just spent nearly an hour writing a reply, only to lose it when I clicked the wrong button. That's one of the most aggravating experiences I know of!

So here's the short answer: No. Yes. Only on Thursdays, thanks.

No, seriously: Robert Arthur had done a lot of work for Hitchcock. He felt the Hitchcock name would improve sales. So he made a deal with Hitchcock, paying him for the use of his name and persona. The introductions (and occasional closings) by Hitchcock were, in fact, written by the authors.

After Hitchcock died, his estate demanded more money. Random House refused, and replaced his character with a fictional ex-detective writer named Hector Sebastian in all further books. When the older books were re-issued, they were re-written - often clumsily - to likewise replace Hitchcock. Many of those editions also left out the wonderful illustrations by Harry Kane.

An odd thing: The Germans are CRAZY for the Three Investigators. New German-only books continued to come out at a rate of six per year long after the series ended in the US!

Re Danny Dunn: I have some, and enjoy them - but they don't hold up as well as the 3 Investigators, I think. I also think the Mad Scientists Club books hold up better, as do Robert McCloskey's Homer Price and Centerburg Tales.

message 34: by Licia (new)

Licia Cheryl, I agree. At some point you have to expose the carrots (unless your child does). As children's brains develop we have to respect their intelligence. I taught my fifth grade classes as well as my children about the abuse of heavy marketing towards children. Disney at that time was one of the biggest abusers. "Buy this movie now, available for a limited time and then no more," is a tactic that is supposed to whip the fish into a frenzy.

As for princesses, it was important to me that my three girls read books in which girls were actively involved in planning their own lives and the prize at the end was not the prince. But to rule something out entirely as a parent can backfire and draw attention to it. We had Medievil princess style hats and gowns in our dress up bin as well, but often my girls were saving others from fire-breathing dragons.

I think it all comes down to balance. Whenever the bad influences outweigh the good we get into trouble. Reading some junk is fine and they will survive some Disney.

message 35: by ☼Bookish (new)

☼Bookish pam in Virginia☼  (ren_t) For those --like me-- who were made curious by the Five Peppers, you can get a "sneak peek" at GoogleBooks.

message 36: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 9083 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Re' the core of this thread - I've reread some of the old 'classics' and I'm no longer nearly as impressed by some of them as others still seem to be. [book:Five Little Peppers and How They Grew|7..."

I think it's always worth keeping classic books like "The Railway Children" and "Five Little Peppers and how they Grew" in print, even if only for academic reasons, even if they are not as popular anymore than they used to be. Also, simply because you are not as impressed with them as you used to be, does not mean that they should be out-of-print (others might still enjoy these books, why should they be out-of-print simply because you don't like these books anymore, that is a very problematic attitude, in my opinion).

message 37: by Manybooks (last edited Aug 01, 2010 07:18AM) (new)

Manybooks | 9083 comments Mod
You know, one of the nice things for me was that after we had immigrated to Canada, I could basically read anything I wanted, simply because my parents had absolutely no idea what English language books were available. My mother somewhat monitored the German books I read (the ones she had taken over from Germany), but she knew nothing about the controversies with certain authors like Judy Blume and actually bought me Forever when I was about twelve. I think, if she had known what the book was about (and what some of the other Judy Blume books were about) she would have had questions, but as it was, anything I wanted to read, I could get (on the other hand, even as a child I tended to like good books that told an interesting story and was not enthralled by silliness).

All in all, I think that gently monitoring what your child is reading and discussing what is read with them is good, but controlling your child's reading and forbidding him/her to read books you don't like is not only undemocratic and wrong, but also the easy way out, as it takes away the need and opportunity to discuss controversial topics.

message 38: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 192 comments I tend to choose books that I think will engage my son to read along with me. I have even purposely chosen books that some may find kind of off but he just loves them. Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger by Kevin Bolger comes to mind as one that he just loved. Now I would not have chosen this for me but again he is reading along with me and even acting out some of the parts so I think it was a winner in my book. I do tend to preread the books to make sure it is material that he can handle so I guess I do monitor as well.

message 39: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6914 comments Mod
I'm sorry. I totally misspoke, I didn't say we should act to take old stuff out-of-print.

I'm just saying that publishers have limited resources, and should only trouble themselves to make new editions of the better old books.

Nostalgic people and scholars can get more and more of the moldy oldies that are in public domain from e-book sites like Project Gutenberg, with no need to kill more trees.

I expect people will still disagree with me, but that's ok too.

message 40: by Peter (new)

Peter (bookish_peter) As it happens, all of the Five Little Peppers books ARE available on Project Gutenberg. I've never read them, but maybe I'll give them a try. They can't be worse than the Left Behind series, and I made it through that. :D

message 41: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 9083 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I'm sorry. I totally misspoke, I didn't say we should act to take old stuff out-of-print.

I'm just saying that publishers have limited resources, and should only trouble themselves to make new ..."

But, who makes the choices of what are the better books? I know that not all books can be made into new editions, but I do wonder sometimes who makes the choices as to which books are made into new editions, and which are not. And, I do feel guilty about buying books sometimes because of the trees etc., I think it's high time to try to develop a kind of paper that does not use any trees (it must be possible). Also, ALL new editions should be made with recycled materials and natural pigments (but, I guess that's another discussion topic).

I've actually downloaded a few books from Project Gutenberg (although, it's not the same as reading a book), but because I'm on dial-up internet, downloading not only takes ages, it frequently crashes.

message 42: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 9083 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "Peter wrote: "Just spent nearly an hour writing a reply, only to lose it when I clicked the wrong button. That's one of the most aggravating experiences I know of!"

Oh no! I absolutely HATE when t..."

I am not sure if the German publisher's have kept the pretense of "The Three Investigators" (which I think is called Die Drei Fragezeichen (The Three Question Marks) in German) having been written by the original author, but from what I know has happened with both Enid Blyton's Malory Towers and St. Clare's series, it would not surprise me. Also, another thing that really bugs me about German translations is that more often than not, they fail to list the original title (in the original language), which is a real pain if you are attempting to compare/contrast.

Oh, and I would definitely be interested in a vintage series thread.

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