Wednesday, April 24, 2013

reading notes, entry 2...and a couple other tidbits...

Burning for Revenge by John Marsden.

Max and I are still working our way through this series, and yes, we're still enjoying it. (Burning for Revenge is the fifth book.) This series is violent. Not surprising, as the books are about war and how a group of teenagers try to survive. In a sense, I'm almost glad they're violent, because I just wouldn't want war to be sugar-coated. And these books ask a lot of good questions...questions about humanity, about morality, about friendship, about trust.

But last night, this book pissed me off. And I found myself for the second time this year censoring one of my children's experiences with a book. This was much different than the first time though. Luckily, my brain reads just a tiny bit ahead of my mouth, and I was able to exercise the option of deleting a few words.

Here's the sentence, told from Ellie's point of view:

I know they taught us at school that girls shouldn't feel under pressure from guys, and guys won't die if they don't get what they want, but in real life it's not that easy.

When I read it to Max, I deleted that last clause, "but in real life it's not that easy." In a sense, there's truth to the whole thing, because no interaction between two people is ever simple enough to be fully explained in a few words. But face it, that's not what's being said here. Nope, what we've got here is just another perpetuation of the same old, same old--guys can't control themselves so it's up to girls not to be raped. So yeah, I didn't read that last bit because THERE IS NO "BUT"!!! And yeah, we were still able to have a conversation about the topic, without the reinforcement of a troublesome idea.

Okay, enough of my pissed-offed-ness...let's move on to a bit of happy stuff...

*I just want to say a GARGANTUAN THANK YOU to Lu for directing me to The Old Reader. If there's anyone else out there who hasn't figured out what to do about Google Reader going away, especially if you're not particularly tech-savvy, The Old Reader might be your answer. Seriously, it was easy even for me to figure out, being as non-tech-savvy as the come. And thus far, I must say that I am loving how it works!

*Dewey's Read-a-Thon is just a few days away now! And I am sooooo excited! Dewey has been on my mind a lot lately, even more than usual. Not sure why. But I feel especially grateful right now to be looking forward to this day of joyful reading that Dewey gave birth to.

*And look what just arrived on my doorstep:

From my incredibly sweet husband, I'm assuming. I put it on my wish list but didn't actually order it as we've been trying very hard to not spend unnecessary money the last several months. So yeah, I think he broke the rules but I am exceedingly appreciative that he did. :)


Mandy said...

I think that the “real life isn’t that easy” statement makes sense for the character. If I remember correctly by this point in the series Ellie is a rape victim who doesn’t want to admit to herself that she has been raped (which is a whole other can of worms). I don’t approve of how she thinks about the event but I understand that it’s something that a lot of people who’ve had similar experiences unfortunately do.

Debi said...

Thanks for your comment! I think that's a very legitimate point. Honestly, I think I'm sort of mixing up two very different issues here in my head. You're right, it is absolutely the way so many women feel. Sadly. :( So yes, Ellie's just repeating the feelings she's been socialized to buy into. I guess my real problem came down to repeating that "idea" to my 10-year-old son, who wouldn't understand all that went into Ellie feeling that way. And I just didn't want to reinforce the all too prevalent attitudes that exist. Thanks again for your comment--it was really helpful for me to separate those two different points out in my head.

Ali said...

I think you were right to censor that for your 10 year old, who wouldn't understand it being "not that easy." And I haven't read the book, so I should probably not try to say anything intelligent, but it kind of reminds me of the whole "just say no" campaign and how it over-simplifies the way peer pressure works.

Happy that you got the Gaiman book from your wish list! What a sweet guy your husband is.

Vasilly said...

You were definitely right to censor that for your son. Your husband is so sweet to get the new Gaiman book for you! Dewey's been on my mind a lot lately too. It's amazing how much she did in the short time she had here.

Chris Howard said...

I love the way your brain is able to work so quickly Debi to teach your children. I really do. To know immediately, "whoa…he's not ready to process that kind of imformation yet in that context." It's beautiful to me…the way you parent.

I too am SO excited about the readathon :D It's going to be a good one!!! I'm going to get the fixings for some rotel dip tomorrow :D And will probably eat lots of it tomorrow too :p AND I'm so happy you'll be reading from Unnatural Creatures with me too!!!!