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Old 09-10-2008, 01:17 PM   #76
rhadin
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Ulysses -- the book to which I said no

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Originally Posted by TallMomof2 View Post
I let my kids read whatever they want. I just [want] them to read!
Well, I almost let my kids (when they were young -- the youngest now is 27) whatever they wanted. There was only 1 exception -- James Joyce's Ulysses.

I remember my son coming home from school when he was 12 and in 6th grade and telling me he had to go to the bookstore to buy a book for a homework assignment. I took him and he immediately grabbed Ulysses. I asked him if the teacher had assigned the book and he told me no, the assignment was to do a book report on a book written by a major 20th century author. He had "heard" some discussion about what a great book this was and thought he would do his report on it.

After much fencing, "heard" became schoolyard discussion among the boys and that it was a really "sexy" book. I told him that he could not buy Ulysses because it was too difficult to read at this point in his education but that I would give him an IOU for the book that he could redeem when he was in 9th grade. I explained that the book's use of English structure, particularly the exceedingly long punctuation-less sentences, made it too difficult at that moment.

He argued so I said, OK, here's what we'll do. I'll photocopy a few pages of Ulysses and if he can explain them to me, then he is ready for the book; otherwise, it's the IOU. I also suggested that he time how long it takes him to read and understand those pages, because if I buy the book for him, he will need to read it cover to cover within a month. He accepted the challenge.

A week later he told me to forget it. The book was boring, made no sense, and would require him to give up all fun activities for a month in order to get through it. Just wasn't worth it. He didn't even want the IOU.

But that is the only book I said no to and I only said no because I knew my son would not be able to understand it -- he was still too young and too immature. I don't think he has ever read the book.
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:18 AM   #77
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Rhadin, I think what you are doing is called "responsible parenting" and is not censorship in any form. Good for you! I don't remember buying my own books until I was 15 or so. At what age did any of you begin buying your own books? And, not comic books, OK?
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:27 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by bmwvan View Post
Rhadin, I think what you are doing is called "responsible parenting" and is not censorship in any form. Good for you! I don't remember buying my own books until I was 15 or so. At what age did any of you begin buying your own books? And, not comic books, OK?
I'm pretty sure I bought my first chapter books with my own money when I was 10, at a school "book fair." (The two books were Space Cadet and Between Planets, both by Heinlein.) There were also opportunities to buy books at reduced prices through a catalog ordering program at school. Shortly after that we moved to a town where I could walk home from school and stop at a book store, and I started buying all my own books without supervision. At one point, my mother asked me about the content of one that she felt had a rather suggestive cover (Dreamsnake, by Vonda McIntire), I explained that the cover was not descriptive of the contents of the book, compared it in level of "adult" content to a movie we had both recently seen together, promised to put a concealing cover on it if I took it to school, and that was that.

My parents were not being neglectful. They trusted my maturity to select my own reading material and ask them if I had questions.
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