Sunday, May 9, 2010

More from the 'donations' box.

Finally got some bookshelves put up in my classroom. So far, they look a little sad ~ not just for all the open spaces, but for the content ~ or lack thereof. All of these books have been donated from U.S. agencies working in Morocco. Not much thought is put into whether these are books Moroccan children can/will actually use/want (for context, see previous post here).
From the wildly inappropriate to the outdated to the simply out of place or downright boring, we've got it covered:

* A 1985 guide to road trips across the United States
* 1999 World Almanac
* a 2000 guide to using the Internet
* "How to Write a Report" ~ 1968 edition
* Youth fiction: "Preacher's Boy"
* Gardener's Guide to Pest Control
* Biographies of Margaret Sanger and Brigham Young
* "The Age of Voltaire" from Will and Ariel Durant's 11-volume "The Story of Civilization"
* 3-volume set: "An Outline History of Switzerland: From the Origins to the Present Day;" "The * Social Structure of Switzerland;" "Philosophy from Switzerland"
* "Shane" ~ the 1949 novel that became a classic '50s Western
* "Each Time, Every Time" ~ an oversized set of colorfully attractive, easily readable graphic novels about AIDS and STIs. Kid-friendly. A bit too kid-friendly for this culture. I want everyone to have this information, but I don't particularly enjoy being the one to translate "I'm passing this white, sticky stuff" to an eager-to-read 14-year-old boy.

I'd give anything for some Shel Silverstein, some Beverly Cleary, some Eric Carle. Basic picture books with beginner words in English. Easy-to-read, youth-oriented texts.

Still, even this incongruous collection is fascinating to my kids, who don't usually see bookstores or libraries, who don't live in a culture that places any value on pleasure reading. They love to pull them out and look at them. That's a good start ... and the obsessive-compulsive in me is doing an excellent job of letting them touch and jumble the tomes, resisting the urge to keep things in order. Disorder is good! The books are there to be used, examined, played with, explored. Just don't make me explain "white sticky stuff." Please.

No comments: