« The Night Owls by the Timony Twins - review | Main | Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel, Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, adapted by Tony Lee, illustrated by Cliff Richards - review »

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a0120a5f35956970c0148c7f593ef970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman - review:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Douglas

As a parent, are you worried at all that the book's main characters trustingly go along with strangers who claim they're trying to help, and that the strangers tell them it's all part of a massive conspiracy and the children must therefore keep it all a secret from their parents? That kind of content is easy to overlook in an adventure story (like when reading Harry Potter it's easy to overlook the fact that Harry and his friends consistently disobey their caregivers to put themselves in extreme danger, and are inevitably rewarded for such behaviour.) One school of thought has it that anything that gets kids reading at all, these days, can't be all bad; but I, and some people I know, wonder if that's really the case. Of course it's always a good idea to make sure you know what kind of content your child is being exposed to and have a frank discussion about issues you find worrisome... but maybe some of these books should also have warnings. "Young Adult Fiction - warning: contains principal characters making extremely bad decisions and doing things you would just die if you knew YOUR kids were doing." What's your take?

:paula

Douglas, that is an excellent observation - the part about "don't tell your parents" is pretty specifically a red flag that should maybe be addressed...

But, after thinking about this issue kind of a lot - I first soul-searched myself about it when I reviewed Diary of a Wimpy Kid - I have come to the conclusion that only an unusually out-of-touch kid would use the behavior of kids in books (or movies or TV or games) as his or her touchstone about what's safe or appropriate. And if you've got that kid, you probably know it, and are used to handing out warnings and caveats already.

For most of us - adults AND kids - fiction is one of the blow-off valves whereby we can experience situations that we would never encounter (or hope to never encounter) in real life. I hope to never be trapped in a cave like Tom Sawyer, or chased by a guy on a motorcycle like the kids in this book, but it sure is fun to watch it happen, see how those kids react, wonder what I would do in the same place!

The behavior that I AM bothered by in children's books is inconsiderate, hurtful behavior that is presented as funny or cool. I dislike the mean girls in YA series fiction sniping and gossiping at each other, because I think that some girls will aspire to that kind of queen bee status. And I still do not care for Greg Heffley in the Wimpy Kid books getting away with being such a jerk, because I think little boys will come away thinking that being mean and obnoxious is funny.

On the other hand, it would probably take a miracle for little boys to stop seeing humor in obnoxiousness, so I have kind of stepped off my soapbox on this one. :)

Thanks for reading!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment



I am proud to be a Round I Panelist in the Fiction Picture Books category of the Cybils Awards this year!

Everything on a waffle

Become a Fan

pinkmeblog - View my 'banners' set on Flickriver

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Goodreads

    Networked blogs widget

    • Networked blogs widget

    Google friend connect

    • Google friend connect
    Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

    blog advertising is good for you!

    StatCounter

    • StatCounter