- I am very tired and I should be in bed, not thinking with you. Even if they are random thinks.
- I am reading Murakami's classic, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. It is very good, but then I think all the books by this author - excepting maybe his non-fiction book about long-distance running - are terrific, so that's not saying much. I have just finished Fred Hollow's inspiring autobiography and The Road Home by Rose Tremain. I would recommend them both, but especially the latter. It was unputdownable.
- I am studying Acts using this book by Gordon Keddie. It is very good, and really makes me think. Which is pretty hard when you're tired and would rather be sleeping than thinking.
- I am inspired by Eve Anderson, retired headmistress of a PNEU school in Oxford. I have been watching the videos of her teaching narration, picture study and nature study over the last few days, and am relieved that I am not doing anything terribly different. I am keen to do more dry brush painting using the techniques she demonstrates.
- I am saddened by the things I read in this article about YA literature. My daughter will be the intended audience demographic for these books in only a few short years. I hope she never reads books like the ones I read about here.
Now, whether you care if adolescents spend their time immersed in ugliness probably depends on your philosophical outlook. Reading about homicide doesn't turn a man into a murderer; reading about cheating on exams won't make a kid break the honor code. But the calculus that many parents make is less crude than that: It has to do with a child's happiness, moral development and tenderness of heart. Entertainment does not merely gratify taste, after all, but creates it.In our peaceful home our philosophy is encapsulated in this verse from Philippians:
If you think it matters what is inside a young person's mind, surely it is of consequence what he reads. This is an old dialectic—purity vs. despoliation, virtue vs. smut—but for families with teenagers, it is also everlastingly new. Adolescence is brief; it comes to each of us only once, so whether the debate has raged for eons doesn't, on a personal level, really signify.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things Philippians 4:8 NIV.This article makes me sad. What makes me sadder is to see the backlash it has caused this weekend amongst YA authors and specialists. Personally I agree with most of what Meghan Cox Gurdon writes. I might not be a YA specialist, but I am a mum, and an auntie, and a friend to many young people. Surely that counts for something.
What do you think?
- I bought some books for Jemimah at the Borders closing down sale on Saturday. There has to be a silver lining, doesn't there? I picked up copies of The Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson, Avi's The Secret School, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. Happy with all of these picks, oh yes I definitely am. Strange, isn't it that all the twaddle has already sold, and all the Newberry winners are just sitting there waiting for me! What does that say about the discernment of Melbourne's bargain shoppers?
- Speaking of great kids' books, Jemimah is reading Speedie by Colin Thiele having just finished Harriet the Spy. Her bedtime read-aloud is The Borrowers. We are both enthralled by this choice. I remember I was as a kid as well, but it is still good. Our super-dooperly-fantastic family read-alouds include the first of the Penderwick series, The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy . This is definitely evidence that great living books are still being written! Hurrah for Jeanne Birdsall. (Great name...) As well we're reading Black Beauty, Calico Captive and Little Britches. Oh my, I am so blessed to be reading literature of this quality aloud to my family. I love being a homeschool mum!!
- I'm exceedingly impressed by Nadia Wheatley's new book, Playground - a compilation of Australian indigenous stories of childhood. I'm reading it right now, and will blog about it shortly. I can definitely anticipate being able to incorporate this fascinatingly original picture book into Jemimah's studies at some stage.
- Now that I've finished thinking out loud I'm going to take myself off to bed. What are your thinks that you're thunking about books? What are you reading? What appeals and what doesn't? What do you think about YA literature that includes such topics as kidnapping and pederasty and incest and brutal beatings? What is pederasty anyhow? Come and talk to me! I love talking books. In case you didn't realise. You can talk about other stuff too, if you like. Actually I just like listening to you. Whatever it is you want to talk to me about...well, maybe except long distance running.