I read that the teacher wanted the students to understand poverty. What is bothersome is teaching people that being poor means one thinks a certain way. My niece told me that she studied how rich people think versus how the poor think. I don't remember specifically, but this book is a good example of false deductions about the poor. Your son, could read the book, and give an intelligent review of it, using his own mind. But, he is supposed to read the book. It seems that books, similar in type, about the hardships of the working class, are available and may even been recommended for Christians. Certainly not every book gets a good review. Was the author truly anti-christian? That seems to be the bias that has confounded your son. I would agree that reading a book by someone who is against Christ would be a waste of my time! You can read a book by someone of some other religion, and be aware of it, finding some reason to want the story from that person. This particular story reminds me of one written about being black for a day. Rather read a book written by someone who had been poor, or who is black, if that is the story needed. Maybe, finally, the teacher would allow a different book, with that standard, of first hand experience! I read a good one about a fellow who lived out the depression in Toledo, Ohio, was adopted, moved to Fremont, and did HS there, etc. Neat read ... Christian upbringing which was harder because of poverty.