[DWJ] Attitude

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed Dec 27 11:59:51 EST 2006


On Wed, 27 Dec 2006 12:10:28 +0000, Ika Willis wrote:

>I've been intrigued by people's comments about 'attitude' in relation
>to the review site Sally found - am I the only person who reads books
>primarily *for* their attitude/worldview? Or is the discomfort with
>the idea only because of the way it's being used on that specific
>site?

Well, it *is* supposed to be a guide to help parents choose books for their
kids--emphasis on protecting them from bad things.  It's that latter that
bothers me.  They've got books ranked on a continuum that's totally
subjective to their worldview--respect for parents and elders good,
disobedience bad, etc.--but they imply that their ratings are objective and
that right-thinking people will agree with them.  Since I think that the
"attitude" of a book is a springboard to further thought and discussion, I
find this sort of ranking useless and a little insulting.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if this sort of ratings site
isn't detrimental to parents.  It's encouraging them to let someone else do
the moral thinking for them.  I know a lot of non-reader parents who are
mystified by their reader children; they want to encourage them, but they're
afraid their kids will read things that violate the morals and ethics
they're trying to raise them with.  (Never mind that most kids learn to deal
with such things; it's reasonable for parents to worry when their children
start turning into adults.)  I can see such parents turning to this kind of
site for exactly the wrong kind of advice and then alienating their kids by
laying down what seems to the kid to be an arbitrary set of rules about What
You Shouldn't Read.  Stupid stupid stupid.

(I can feel smug about this because I have great literary discussions with
my oldest.  Last book: _The Martian Chronicles_, her choice for a literature
unit.  Talk about bad attitude....)

Melissa Proffitt



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