Classic Remarks: Laura Ingles Wilder in School

This week Krysta and Briana at Pages Unbound are hosting the discussion: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie has been criticized for its depiction of Native Americans as “primitive.” Should students continue to read this book in school?

I want to start by saying that, as a teacher-librarian, I think kids would better served reading fewer classics and more books they are going to be able to relate to and without old-fashioned language to decode. I don’t want to throw the classics out, but for elementary schoolers there’s not really a reason to read Little House in the Big Wood AND Sarah Plain and Tall AND Charlotte’s Web. If there’s nothing in your curriculum for kids under the age of 13 written since 2010, in my opinion your curriculum needs to be adjusted.

There’s a lot of reasons for this that aren’t the point of this post, but I’ll summarize by saying that the major points of doing a novel study in elementary school are 1) improving kids’ reading level by challenging them without challenging them so much they can’t get it, 2) teaching them to love reading, and 3) make connections with literary elements they’re learning about and see them in the wild. If the book has antique language, that can be an added element of difficulty that can prevent them from enjoying and understanding a book, which interferes with all three goals. AND if they aren’t being presented with books they love, kids won’t learn to love reading. It’s not that kids won’t love classics, but they may be able to connect more with some of the FANTSTIC kids’ lit being written today.

I also want to preface by saying that I loved the Little House books, especially the later novels, as a young person and read them more than once. While I now understand that it’s a pretty ethnocentric look at the past, I credit Wilder with starting my interest in Historical Fiction and history in general.

Moving on to the discussion.

No, there’s not a reason for teachers to be teaching Laura Ingles Wilder in 2020. While I don’t necessarily have *as* big of a problem with Little House in the Big Woods, and can understand why teachers would use it as an example of Historical Fiction, I think the problems with the series don’t outweigh the benefits of an actual first-person account of pioneer life.

Continue reading “Classic Remarks: Laura Ingles Wilder in School”

The 90s Kid Book Tag

I AM A 90s KID AND I AM PROUD!!!!

Seriously, I love the 90s. My childhood was so amazing. We had video games and computers and stuff, but it wasn’t as constantly invasive as it is now. (I say on my BLOG which I am writing instead of sleeping…) (The hypocrisy is not lost on me.) We had the best TV shows, the greatest music, and just generally happy lives. I am so nostalgic for 1999 pretty much all of the time.

So when I saw this tag on The Literary Phoenix a few months ago I couldn’t resist bookmarking it for a later date. I don’t do as many book tags as I used to, so it’s taken me a while to get to it, but I love tags and I’m so happy this is how I’m spending my Sunday night. 🙂

Rules:

  1. Please, please, please steal this tag and spread it around!  I only ask that you link it back to The Literary Phoenix so that I can see everyone’s answers!
  2. Freeze tag was all the rage in the 90s.  Tag someone (or many) you think would have fun with this!
  3. Have fun!

Pokemon

Gotta Catch ’em All! The author you need every book from.

I don’t typically auto-read an author, I still have to find the synopsis interesting before I’ll want to read it. But I have read literally every single book by Rainbow Rowell except Carry On, and a friend recently convinced me that I need tor read that one, too. I mean, I started reading comics just so I could read her Runaways run, okay? Y’all, my love for this woman and all of her books cannot be understated.

Continue reading “The 90s Kid Book Tag”

What’s In My Bookshelf Tag

It seems like a million years ago that Naty tagged me in a Tag she created herself, the What’s In My Bookshelf Tag. I really really enjoyed it, but she tagged me after I went back to work from maternity leave, and safe to say I didn’t have a lot of time for blogging. So now I’m finally getting to it! Thanks for the tag Naty! If you’ve never visited her blog, you should, she rocks!

Rules:

  • Link back to me so I can see everyone’s answers! (Naty’s Bookshelf)
  • Also link back to the person who tagged you!
  • Name one book for each category; try not to repeat books to make this more fun!
  • Tag at least 5 people

A Library Book

I currently don’t have any library books, I’ve been working on my Christmas gift/Reddit Gift Exchange stack. But later this week (maybe tomorrow???) I’ll be heading to the library to check out Shadow and Bone and it’s sequels. I typically read an old YA series I never got around to during summer vacation! Continue reading “What’s In My Bookshelf Tag”