Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lets Discuss Summer Reading List

I forgot to weigh our stores summer reading list binder but I am guessing its about 3lbs. We still don't have all the school list in yet. I've seen some good ones this year. Though a lot of the optional titles have female protagonist. One middle school 6th grade required social studies book is James Patterson's Maximum Ride. I pointed this out to a few of a co workers while saying can we take their accreditation away. James Patterson for required reading, really.
One school second required reading book is different for boys and girls. There is something about gender required reading I don't like. The girls must read Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick (in paperback) and the boys must read Big Field by Mike Lupica. I've loved baseball since I was ten. If my middle school teacher assigned a baseball story I'd be very happy. Though if I was in this class, since I have a vagina I wouldn't be reading the Big Field.
Big Field is only available in hardcover (HC). I hate when teachers assign hardcover books. Here is a little skit to help explain why

Customer- Hi, I need to get my child's summer reading books today. He's leaving for camp on Monday.
Me- Okay, I can help you with that. What is his required title?
Customer- The Big Field by Mike Lupica
Me- Oh yeah we have that. Here you go.
Customer- Is it avaiable is paperback
Me- (thinking yea we have 30 copies in hardcover on the shelf, but since you asked I will get you can have on of the paperbacks we have in the back) No, sorry hardcover only.
Customer - Are you sure can you check
Me- I check. Yep, only hardcover
Customer - Why would his teacher assign a hardcover title
Me- I don't know
This is followed by a pregnant pause while the customer decides what to do. Required HC suck, they're expensive and heavy. I don't even read HC on vacation. So I do feel for the parents but by the end of the summer I am going to be sick of parents asking if the Big Field is in paperback.


Sarah Rettger said...

Wow, I can't decide which part of this makes my jaw drop the most - gendered reading lists, or the required books. It's been a few years since I was in school, but even in my AP classes, the only summer book that was ever *required* was A Brief History of Time.

I'm curious - do the schools in your area actually expect the kids to buy their summer reading? That's the impression I get from the kids who come into my store - another thing I didn't have to do.

Doret said...

Yep Sarah, the students must buy their summer reading titles. Its mostly private schools with required reading. The public schools have suggested reading list. Usually its one required and two selected. The students get tested their first day back.

So every state doesn't have required summer reading?
It was only that one school with gender reading but it still sucks. Though I may have been cool with it if the girls read a book with a male protagonist and vice versa.

Sarah Rettger said...

As far as I know, summer reading is up to the school districts here, and almost every town has its own. New Englanders and their local control, you know :-)