The girls and I can’t wait to do our nightly reading. As the sidebar indicates, right now we are reading Holes (why isn’t there an underline in the formatting?) I’m wondering (again) if this book was the best choice for their ages. Am I doing harm to them by reading this very good book to them? The three scenes that concern me are:
- The Warden punishes her underling, Mr. Sir, in front of the main character (Stanley) by coating her fingernails in nail polish laced with rattlesnake venom and proceeding to scratch his face. His head swells up considerably for about a week.
- Kissing Kate Barlow’s lover is murdered a couple generations ago because the town busybody saw them kissing and she was white and he was black.
- One of the boys attacks Mr. Pendanski and wallops him upside the head with a shovel (he deserved it), knocking him out cold, then runs away into the desert without water and is presumed dead at this point in the book.
So, anyone reading this is thinking to themselves “is this mother INSANE? Why would she read this to a 5 year old and 8 year old?”
Well, I’ll tell you. A person can only take so much Junie B. Jones. Even some of the other series, like Katie Kazoo and Judy Moody, while having a little more plot, are better for Bird to read to herself. What I love about reading good books to them is that I look forward to it as much as they do. We couldn’t get enough Harry Potter. But we stopped after Book III as I felt Book IV was too dark. We tried to read The Secret Garden but it was s-l-o-w at the end and we never finished it. There have been many others that we enjoyed and which were appropriate (Freckle Juice comes to mind.) I know there are lots of good books out there for us to share. I just have to find them.