Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Columns

September 26, 2011

Tips to help parents judge books for children

JOPLIN, Mo. — Cari Rerat already has a reading plan set up for her child, who is due in a few weeks. She knows what books she’ll let her son read at what ages. She knows what kind of things are too offensive for his eyes.

And when it comes to selecting material, her son is the only person she should control.

The expectant mother is also the teen librarian for the Joplin, Mo., Public Library.

Though she has strong views about what her child can read, she would never tell any other parent what her child is allowed to read.

“I dictate what my child reads,” Rerat said. “Not what other children read. I don’t know them like I know my own child.”

Saturday marks the beginning of Banned Books Week, organized by the American Library Association. The week celebrates and showcases books on the organization’s Top 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books list, released each spring.

SLIDESHOW: Most frequently challenged books

While the actions of motivated parents and school boards make headlines, what gets lost in the shuffle is what goes on in each of our homes. Parents may find themselves daunted when they think about what their own children are reading -- especially when they recognize so many titles in their kids’ own book collections.

From a librarian’s point of view, Rerat said the best thing a parent can do is to read the book in question.

About a year ago, the Stockton, Mo., school board banned “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie. The part that generated the controversy, a section where the main character writes about masturbation, goes for only about 15 sentences, Rerat said.

“And that’s not what that book is about,” Rerat said. “It’s about a boy who lives a powerful life.”

Many times books find themselves challenged for simply a small part, which distracts from a larger message. But parents may not have time to read every book that gets challenged.

Rerat recommended things people can do short of waiting for a good reading day:

Text Only
Columns
  • thermostat.jpg 5 tax credits for wintertime energy efficiency

    If you're looking for ways to lower your heating bill and make your home more energy efficient this winter, now is a good time to act. Make certain home improvements before the end of 2011, and you can claim a federal tax credit when you file next year.

    December 13, 2011 1 Photo

  • DangerousToys10.jpg SLIDESHOW: 10 most dangerous toys As you shop for the kids and grandkids this holiday season, keep an eye out for potentially dangerous toys. The nonprofit consumer watchdog group World Against Toys Causing Harm, or WATCH, has released its annual list of the 10 worst toys.

    December 8, 2011

  • kindle-fire.jpg Guide to this year's hottest gift: The tablet

    Tablet computers and e-readers are extremely popular and are expected to be strong sellers this holiday season despite a weak economy.  But the array of models and brands can confound many potential gift-givers. Check out this guide to tablet-giving on any budget.

    December 8, 2011 7 Photos

  • thanksgiving.jpg So much turkey! Thanksgiving by the numbers

    This Thanksgiving, millions of Americans will gather to eat, celebrate and give thanks. The U.S. Census Bureau has put the holiday in perspective with some key facts and figures about Turkey Day and all its trimmings.

    November 23, 2011 1 Photo

  • candycorn.jpg In sugar shock? 5 things to do with leftover Halloween candy

    When Halloween is over and your kids are still candy-eating zombies, you may want to get the sugary temptations out of their sight (and yours.) So what do you do with the leftover treats? Here are some ideas.

    November 7, 2011 1 Photo

  • Texting, driving Study: Drivers think texting is dangerous, but still do it

    Almost all motorists believe texting while driving is dangerous, but more than a third of them do it anyway, according to a study released Monday.

    October 5, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

  • 092211_banned-books.jpg Tips to help parents judge books for children

    While the book-protesting actions of motivated parents and school boards make headlines, what gets lost in the shuffle is what goes on in each of our homes. As Banned Books Week begins, one librarian offers tips for parents weighing what kind of reading material to share with their children.

    September 26, 2011 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Bill-Gates.jpg List of richest people in America released

    The economy may be down, but the wealth of America’s richest is up by 12 percent, to nearly $1.53 trillion, Forbes magazine said this week in unveiling its list of the 400 wealthiest people in the country.

    September 23, 2011 3 Photos

  • Let's play ball without scandals

    The Big 12 announced a TV deal with Fox that would bring in more than $1 billion over 13 years.

    Recent scandals reveal college football is ethically challenged and inadequately regulated.

    August 29, 2011

  • Garden sprinkler How to conserve water during drought

    In a time of drought, you can do your part by following these steps to conserve water both indoors and outdoors.

    August 5, 2011 2 Photos

Business Marquee

e-Edition
  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.

     

    CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE E-EDITION SITE

     

    ATTENTION CURRENT DEMOCRAT SUBSCRIBERS TO START an e-EDITION

    e-mail request to sjohnson@pvdemocrat.com

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Stocks
Facebook