Tuesday, November 01, 2011

From the archives: Strange trends in children's books

First posted September 2009, and reposted just because it still makes me laugh.

Warning: serious weirdness follows, not for the faint of heart or easily offended.

Back in 2006 we posted Some books we're not ordering. As in, blurbs from the sold-to-schools book club that we access through our homeschool group.

Well, the books (and/or the descriptions) have gotten worse since then. Or funnier, depending on your perspective. Some choice synopses from this month's catalogue:

"Jack Frost's goblins have stolen the magical Halloween candy. Will Halloween be ruined forever?"

"Juliet's having a Pink Princess party with pink balloons and a pink castle cake! Will any boys from class show up?"

"Uh-oh...if silent letters don't prove how important they are, they might disappear forever! Learn about the importance of silent letters."

The Boy Who Wouldn't Share. "Edward keeps his pile of toys all to himself--until he gets trapped underneath!"

"Enjoy the heartwarming story of a Junior Wilderness Explorer and his best friend--a huge, flightless bird named Kevin." (I was okay with this until I got to Kevin.)

I Like Myself. "This silly rhyme has a serious message about appreciating yourself inside and out!"

"Join Percy as he battles demon cheerleaders...." (Search me, I have no idea.)

"The bossy new girl, Cheyenne, thinks she can rule the school...."

"....Allie's theatrical hopes are crushed when she gets cast as the evil queen not the princess."

"Long-lost twins Olivia and Ivy are about to be separated again! Can Ivy use her vampire powers to keep them together?"

From the teen section: "What's the worst fashion mistake you've ever made? Find out EVERYTHING about your friends and yourself!" "Sixteen-year-old social outscast X has had an accident. One month later she wakes up--in a supermodel's body!" "This year, life is good for Vlad; he survived a stake through the heart and is dating his dream girl. But after his uncle disappears and Vlad's thirst grows, will he make a decision he regrets?" (I am NOT making this up.) Then there's the Hip Hop History of the World....

Of course there's Gordon Korman's Schooled. "Can a hippie homeschooler who's never watched TV or eaten pizza get elected class president at his new school? Funny!"

And on an equally intellectual note: "Holling's teacher is out to get him! Why else would she make him read Shakespeare outside of class? Hilarious Newbery Honor book!"
Yeah, why else?


Queen of Carrots said...

I actually saw the silent letter book at the library the other day and, from a quick glance, thought it was somewhat amusing and fairly informative. (It addressed both that the letters were historically pronounced, and that they are still useful to distinguish words.) Not worth buying for home, though.

Mama Squirrel said...

It's not even the books themselves that I find funny--more often it's the way they're described.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

When reading this, what came to my mind was that this is exactly why I rarely buy kids and YA books at Goodwill!

More and more through the years they have turned into these kinds of books and I wonder WHO is writing them.

What CM would call twaddle is better than some of the kids books being published... shiver.

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