I recently purchased this book set for a few children to give them for Christmas:
My Weird School Days – Dan Gutman
I decided to read through one of them and was horribly surprised.
The first line of all of the books in this set is, “I hate school.”
I continued reading and came to this sentence, “[Andrea with the curly brown hair] I hate her.”
With that I stopped reading this book and moved on the the next one. The same first sentence and this time hateful words were directed towards another character’s mother and a teacher, “[She’s weird]”, “[She’s fat].”
” [I didn’t want to write in her yearbook so I wrote, “I won’t miss you, even if I throw a rock at your face].”
I couldn’t believe this type of language would be found in a child’s books clearly marked for ages 7-10. I would not let my own children read these books let alone give them as gifts to other children.
In searching reviews for these books most are surprisingly positive stating children and teachers love them, that they are very popular at the school library, and parents find them hilarious.
Personally I think there there is nothing hilarious about these books. No one who enjoys these books should be surprised when their child becomes the bully at school and starts using the language found in these books and telling other kids that they hate them.
I can’t help but think what kind of author would write things so inappropriate for children? Clearly someone who doesn’t have children. How could language and themes like this get past editors, publishers, and anyone else who may have read these books?
Clearly markings determining age appropriateness can’t be trusted.
In resolution I returned the books and stated how inappropriate they were and exchanged them for the trust worthy Magic Tree House books – Mary Pope Osborne which I clearly should have went with in the first place.
Apparently cheap books come with cheap subject matter and you get what you pay for. I will keep this in mind when buying books for children in the future!