by Marshall, July 26, 2007 1:52 PM
- Post-Traumatic Harry Syndrome: My eyes are crossed, my ears are ringing, and I emerge from a reading orgy unlike anything I have experienced before. (Well, not since the previous Harry Potter book was released.) But, I'm not talking about the actual book. Nay, I have not read the 7th and last installment in the Harry Potter series. I refer to the absolute juggernaut of media coverage. Nowhere can you turn without seeing massive quantities of reportage, reaction, speculation, and post-Harry tribulation. I was initially moved by Harry readers' outpouring of love and obsession, but, dear lord, the book is out. Let's all go home and read it. Silently. To ourselves. Without moving our lips. And let J. K. go home and enjoy her billion dollars.
- Psketty: Today's New York Times has a piece on the ongoing debate about Barbara Park's children's book series Junie B. Jones:
With every new kindergarten class comes attempts to ban the books. In 2004 Barbara Park was selected as one of the American Library Association's 10 Most Frequently Challenged Authors, alongside Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and John Steinbeck.
Twenty-seven books into the wildly popular series, and people are still lining up on each side of the tug of war ? namely the opposing views on the grammar, or lack thereof, in the books.
Now, I should probably out myself right here as the parent of an emerging second grader, in a Junie B.-lovin' household. But my question is: what's the big ding-dang deal? Children have learned to deal with all the idiosyncrasies of American language ? vernacularly spoken or not. And rarely do I hear a college-age kid say psketty or fridgeedator (both formerly used in our house with regularity).
I can remember the controversy of comic books when I was a kid. That it was "junk" reading and we should have all been sitting under a shady tree, in our bonnets and short pants, with a copy of Jane Austen, Mark Twain, or The Canterbury Tales under our arms. Instead, we were spending our linty pocket change on Archie and Superman comic books, reading them in one sitting and then trading them around with friends. I was a voracious reader then, as I am now, and my comprehension and future tastes weren't damaged by reading anything pedestrian. What's next? No fantasy novels, because they use made-up words and places? Save your pejorative comments for the fact that art and music programs in school are eroding faster than a sand dune in a windstorm.
Now back to our program, already in progress....