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Read Subversive Books To Your Child

A guide by S. Stein
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Products sampled from this guide:
So you hate spoon-feeding pablum to the kids and really wish you had some books to quietly get them into thinking mode, eh? Good for you. Not every child needs to read fluff. Not every child *wants* to read fluff. And oh, what conversations you might have after reading some of these great books.

Let's start with our old friend Dr. Seuss. Old Ted was a G-E-N-I-U-S in my view. Horton Hears A Who! is all about tyranny of the majority and making sure that even the potentially unpopular minority voice is heard in the world -- "a person's a person, no matter how small!" The Lorax (Classic Seuss) is a cautionary environmental tale of how greed will one day destroy our natural resources. The Sneetches and Other Stories educates about how crass commercialism will part you from your hard-earned money, and for what?? So you can think you are better than someone else? All because you have a star on your belly? One classic which I think is often overlooked (and how easy it is to overlook a Seuss book -- there are so many, and they are all so wonderful!) is Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? (Classic Seuss). Children need to know that there is always someone else out there who has a worse lot in life. Definitely check out Dr. Geisel and his many works -- I can't say I loathe any.

Another author who is terrific when it comes to subversive literature is Roald Dahl. People are most familiar with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but let me introduce you to Matilda. It's a great place for kids in the 6-8ish department to start realizing that grownups are not infallible. Most of the grownups in the book are truly grotesque caricatures of anti-intellectualism at its worst. Soon after reading this, my 6 year old daughter connected the book with The Wall, which is probably not wildly appropriate for little kids in full. But she knows the words "we don't need no education, we don't need no thought control." And the headmistress and parents in Matilda are the reasons that songs like "Another Brick in the Wall" were written. Those adults were never interested in true learning.

Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) and all the subsequent titles is a modern-day Ramona: Ramona and Her Father, Ramona the Pest, Ramona the Brave, Beezus and Ramona (Boxed Set of 4 Books), with sly little observations of the stupid vagueries of life as seen through the eyes of a child. Sure, they have happy endings -- but the moments where the authors wink at you knowingly are priceless.

There are classics galore which people should never ignore -- the non-Disneyfied versions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Signet Classics) and The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh, for example.

Okay, parents. Start your engines.

Products mentioned include:
1.  Horton Hears A Who!  by Dr. Seuss
$9.60 Used & New from: $0.01
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2.  The Lorax (Classic Seuss)  by Dr. Seuss
$8.44 Used & New from: $0.13
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3.  The Sneetches and Other Stories  by Dr. Seuss
$10.06 Used & New from: $0.19
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4.  Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? (Classic Seuss)  by Dr. Seuss
$8.44 Used & New from: $2.30
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5.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  by Roald Dahl
Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars   (842) | 1 customer discussion
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6.  Matilda  by Roald Dahl
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4.7 out of 5 stars   (705) | 4 customer discussions
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7.  The Wall  by Pink Floyd
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4.5 out of 5 stars   (1,047) | 2 customer discussions
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8.  Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) [Box set]  by Barbara Park
$11.67 Used & New from: $6.40
3.6 out of 5 stars   (454) | 1 customer discussion
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9.  Ramona: Ramona and Her Father, Ramona the Pest, Ramona the Brave, Beezus and Ramona (Boxed Set of 4 Books) [Box set]  by Beverly Cleary
Used & New from: $6.09
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10.  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Signet Classics)  by Lewis Carroll
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4.3 out of 5 stars   (2,089) | 5 customer discussions
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11.  The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh  by A. A. Milne
$31.49 Used & New from: $5.00
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Customer Discussions about products in this guide
Discussion Replies Latest Post
books for an 11 year old girl 7 Jul 29, 2012
Why not available in US?? 1 Feb 7, 2012
Are these really educative 5 Apr 20, 2011
What is inThe Wall (Deluxe Packaging Digitally Remastered) [ORIGINAL RECORDING REISSUED] 2 Dec 15, 2010
Looking for the best unabridged editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass 0 Sep 16, 2010
help 1 Jun 7, 2010
what file format are these book written in 0 Apr 24, 2010
More than one version 5 Mar 28, 2010
All original illustrations? 0 Feb 28, 2010
Can someone recommend books for an 11 year old girl 2 Dec 15, 2009
good books 1 Oct 24, 2007
Would like feedback on illustrated editions and which are best 0 Dec 8, 2006
 
   

About this Guide

 

Author

S. Stein
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: Mom, writer, occasional questioner of authority
Last updated: 11/27/05
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