Book Smarts

I’ve been slack about posting my column lately, so here’s a catch-up. Last Monday I wrote about helping kids choose books, and why I’d rather err on the side of letting my kids read challenging things rather than playing it too safe.

The day after this appeared, fellow Herald columnist Jan Wong wrote about how she finds many of her university students are “too polite” and almost afraid to be challenged.

I don’t think the two issues are separate. If we decide kids are too fragile to read books like Invisible Man or Huckleberry Finn (without all the jolting but historically appropriate “n-words” removed), if we protect them from reading anything that might be considered “difficult,” well of course they’re going to become averse to diving into those same challenging and difficult topics when they’re older.




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