Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Scholastic" is a smidge misleading...

One of the most thrilling things about my childhood was when school would send home the quarterly Scholastic book order forms.

Rewind 28 years...the nearly nine year old me had happily purchased a sturdy set of Anna Sewell's Black Beauty and Johanna Spyri's Heidi along with a fat book on Greek myths for five. wholllle. dollars. (Hey! It *was* 1982- five bucks was a big deal to me)...I paid with my own money after helping my philatelic uncle soak and peel loads of stamps off discarded envelopes (I should have made a bit more cash- that is some seriously dull work) and I was sooooo impatient for these books to arrive. I distinctly remember my third grade teacher's clipped "Not. Yet. Anna. ...I. will. tell. you. when. they're. HERE." in response to my annoyingly constant asking of when my books would arrive...and when they finally did, I had my face buried in them for ages.

It is a pleasant memory for me- so when Liev came home on Friday waving about the order forms, I was immediately intrigued. It's been many years since I laid eyes on one, and my son was so gleeful- I hopped on the couch with him and perused.

What was inside them made my eyes nearly roll out of my head. The paper booklet is about ten pages long with about 15 items on each page. There are perhaps 2 or 3 books that I recognize as having substance (titles by Roald Dahl and Beverly Cleary hidden amongst the dreck) - some are huge sets and very expensive- what 7 year old can get their parents to pony up $70 in *this* economy? The rest are movie tie-ins, Justin Bieber whack material and stereotype-laden activity books with a lot of flash and bang- apparently, girls are meant to sit on the phone and apply glittery stickers to their 3rd grade fingernails while discussing how Miley Cyrus is NOT taking bong hits-  while boys are to invent helpful machines, soar through the cosmos discovering new planets, learn intense mathematical codes and create a secret identity with a kickin' spy kit.



(Liev and I will be going to the local book trader instead :)