A’s in the throes of TAKS testing this week and needed to bring a book to school for when he finished early. For those of you not in Texas, TAKS is the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. While I’m not against standardized tests per se, the emphasis put on these tests and the process of teaching to the test that occurs even in the best schools, is sobering. Anyway, that’s a rant for another time.

He didn’t have a book he was interested in, so I told him to look through the stack I got from the Nebulas. He did, and chose Michael Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road. I haven’t read it yet. I suspect that it could be inappropriate although a quick look at Amazon makes me think it’s okay (and I get it next). I asked him after school how he liked it so far, and he said it was good, that there was some bad language but that it was good.

We agreed that if it got too much for him he’d put it down. Now, as a parent I suppose I should have read it first, or at least skimmed it. But as a kid I delighted in finding books that were “adult” and yet still good fun. My parents didn’t vet my reading and I think it’s time to let A go ahead on this one. I still like steering books his way (although in this case he found this one on his own) and if he becomes a fan of Chabon, cool! I’ve done my part.

But, um, if anyone wants to tell me that it’s totally inappropriate and I should pull it out of his hands and run screaming off with it, I’m willing to listen.

Categories: Gordath Wood


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