We are back from our long weekend and have officially embarked on shortened summer vacation. While we are all recovering, it sounds a bit like a TB ward in the WVRed household, I thought I would drop by with a short post. I have plans, oh, yes, I do, but for now let me just wet your whistle.
Over the weekend I was blessed to meet a new friend (I hope). She is a 5th and 6th grade teacher who restored a little bit of the shine to public education that The Girl’s first year of middle school tarnished. She was joyous about teaching and asked tons of questions about books that The Girl brought with her and that I have read. She talked about how important reading is and how in her school at a certain time every day everyone in the school stops and reads for the joy of it. It was just what I needed to hear. One of the things she kept asking was whether a book was appropriate for her students. I realized at that point that I rarely address an age or grade level for a book. So this weekend’s encounter has lead me to pledge that one of two things will happen:
- I will include in my evaluation an appropriateness rating of the read including sex and drugs and language. I also swear this is not in any way to censor reading. I think that kids are more able to deal with topics then we think. But it will be there so that teachers, who might, by necessity, be a bit more hesitant, will have a guide.
- If I do not include a rating I will link to my favorite guide for all things media, Common Sense Media. According to their web site “Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.” I suggest heading here to see their 10 Beliefs. I love the way they rate their Books (and Movies and Video Games and Apps). The general ranking has an age which they think is appropriate as well as addressing the following areas:
- Educational value
- Positive messages
- Positive role models
- Drinking, drugs, & smoking
So new rankings and new reviews coming up. Hold on because summer time is reading time in West Virginia.