'50 Shades of Grey' for kids!? 6th graders' steamy summer reading gets parents all worked up!
I've never understood the concept of banning certain books. I love reading, and I think books are an excellent way to explore the world without having to leave the comfort of your own home. That's why the story of how some parents in a Queens school managed to get a "racy" book off their kids' summer reading list caught my attention.
The award-winning book in question is called The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and parents of incoming 6th graders were outraged because it discusses masturbation.
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According to the dismayed parents, this is not a topic their 11-year-olds should be reading about, which I find kind of crazy because I doubt masturbation is a foreign concept to them. Plus, even though I haven't read the book, I'm sure masturbation is not the only thing author Sherman Alexie wrote about when describing what it was like for him to be the only Native-American in an all-white high school.
Even so, with comments such as, "It was like Fifty Shades of Grey for kids," the parents managed to put so much pressure on school officials that they just announced 6th graders no longer have to read the book or write the required essay.
While I think these parents probably took this a little too far, I must say that when it comes to children, I agree they should be reading age-appropriate books. It's undeniable that there are many topics children are simply not mature enough to understand and shouldn't really be exposed to until they're older.
In addition, I also agree that it's up to the parent to decide when their children should find out about certain topics, especially when it comes to sex. Then again, if parents of 11- and 12-year-olds think their kids don't know about masturbation, they're pretty delusional. Don't you think?
Interestingly enough, I think all the hoopla created by these parents will probably create even more interest on the part of children who will want to find out why the book is forbidden.
Image vía Amazon.com