Thursday, June 7, 2012

Out of My Mind

While the post title is a fitting description of my life right now, it's also the title of a book that I just finished.  Kami, you might want to add it to your list for your daughter.  The author, Sharon Draper, has written an interesting novel from the perspective of an 11-year old with cerebral palsy.  She can't walk, she can't talk, but she has a lot of things going on in her head.  I read it (finished with a few tears), and have passed it on to my daughters to read (ages 14 & 12).  I might even see if my 9 year old son will read it.
If nothing else, it is a great way to introduce the idea that people who look or act different on the outside are still PEOPLE with feelings and thoughts that MATTER.  

A second book that I read was called "The Safe-Keeper's Daughter", by Sharon Shinn.  I liked it.  I think there are more, which I'm going to read.  My 12 year old daughter read it first.  I told her to tell me if there was anything bad.  She didn't say anything.  Then I read it.  There wasn't anything bad per se - like no bad words or sex scenes, but there were a couple of illegitimate children running around and no one seemed to think that was unusual.  So that's my caveat in terms of recommending it to children.  Oh.  And there was a girl that the secret keep finds out is pregnant by her father - and her mother does nothing to protect her.  Although it was a very minor side-story, it is kind of heavy subject matter.  I'm going to have to chat with my daughter about that book I guess.  Sigh.

Which leads me to a question I'd like to talk about.  How do you determine how much is too much and at what age?  I have sat in Relief Society book-clubs and been utterly shocked at some of the reading material that some women will read and recommend for the RS sisters to read.  So obviously people have different ideas of what's appropriate and tolerable.  On the other hand, I think that being exposed to moderate amounts of evil in literature is what helps you define and make judgments without having to be personally exposed.  The scriptures have a lot of bad things happening in them - it's just not all spelled out.  Then, too, there's always the question of language - when do you let kids read books with swear words and how much swearing is too much?  I just feel like those guidelines are so fluid and I never know if I'm being way over-protective or too lenient, or just right!


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