I just learned that my 13 year old daughter’s eighth grade literature teacher, who is a Catholic young woman recently graduated from college (and from a dear family as well), has assigned this novel to the class. This is a Catholic parish school.
Naturally, though I’m not concerned with the discussions of racial issues, I am very concerned about the matter of rape which this story brings up. I have not read this book in many years, so there might be more that I should be worried about as well. I think that my highschool aged children have read this in English honors classes, so I’m wondering why the teacher is pushing this on eighth graders… except that it is the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of TKAM so it’s an even trendier book at the moment.
My daughter reads at a very high level, so her comprehension will not be an issue. She will “get” everything. So is this book appropriate for Catholic 13 year olds? There are some very innocent children in this class, but most are rather savvy. I cannot imagine what the classroom discussion of this story will look like. Some of the boys in this grade seem too immature to discuss more serious themes and what 13 year old girl wants to talk about rape anyway? I do not have a copy of the book, but I’m getting one from the library asap.
If this book is objectionable for this age group, would you please tell me why? It would be best to cite specific passages. I will then send an email to our school administration and the lit teacher herself quote the offending text in order to make my point. I believe that our principal will listen, and if it comes to it, I will just tell the teacher that my daughter cannot read the story and request a different novel.
Or maybe I’m overreacting… what do you think?