Many books approved for New York City classrooms include sex and violence, notes NYC Educator. If students are reading, does it matter what they’re reading?
A student who does service in our office regularly comes in with novels entitled Bitch, or Blood on the Sidewalk, and various others of this ilk. She says her aunt has a collection, and she seems to finish several a week. The list must be endless. Is it doing her any good? Who knows? But at least she’s reading. I have to admit I like that.
NYC’s readers say there are books they’d never assign but don’t mind if students decide to try on their own. (To my surprise, a number of teachers said they’re not allowed to assign and teach novels in class.)
I tried to read my parent’s copy of Tropic of Cancer when I was in junior high or high school. I thought Miller had managed to make sex boring. Of course, if Miller had written about a brooding hawk-visaged loner carrying off a young woman to his lonely castle . . . Well, I didn’t read those either, unless you count Jane Eyre, which is a great book for adolescent girls.