My English 204 students can now say they have read Charlotte’s Web. Again. I didn’t realize how strange that book is when I read it as a child. Two things are insanely weird about it:
- Fern’s mother is worried that, at the age of 8, Fern spends more time with her animal friends than she does with boys. She is so worried, in fact, that she talks with their family doctor about it. Eventually, still at the age of 8, her mother rejoices when Fern goes for a Ferris wheel ride with a boy, and for some reason Fern lingers over that moment for the rest of the story. Heteronormativity anyone?
- In the opening scene of the book Avery, Fern’s brother, takes a toy gun and a toy knife with him to school. When I was younger, I suppose several of my friends did the same thing, but having taught in a school where a first grader brought a real gun to school, I have to say that I am not for Avery carrying weapons with him on the bus.
It is definitely interesting to see how drastically children’s literature has changed in just the past 50 years, and the one thing I like about our textbook is that it shows how writing for children has evolved from non-existence to high-quality books written especially with children of different developmental levels in mind.
I am thankful for my students and the ways they challenge me and each other.
Food: banana, juice, pure bar, chocolate milk, vegan lasagna, apple, cheese, almonds, decaf americano, Tootsie rolls, frozen pablano pepper thingies, ice cream with strawberries
Exercise: ran three miles and walked the dogs