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Scholastic Pulls Bratz Books From Schools

Reading: Does the Topic Matter?

One of the best gifts any parent can give their child is the love for reading. Reading experts often encourage new parents to introduce their newborns to books starting on day one. Whether it's the newspaper, a magazine, or Goodnight Moon, they say that the ritual and inflection are often what matters most.

As infants grow and their reading capabilities sharpen, the subject of the texts obviously becomes more relevant. I would rather my daughter choose to read To Kill a Mockingbird over Sweet Valley High, but I think reading anything over nothing is preferable.

The well-known book supplier Scholastic holds book fairs in elementary schools throughout the country. On their lists of available titles are often some of pop culture's favorite characters: Sponge Bob and Harry Potter are just two. Until recently, Bratz were also part of the Scholastic collection. That was until more than 5,000 people from the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood wrote to Scholastic pressuring them to take any form of the dolls out of schools, even in books. Initially, the book company took the stance that Bratz books were important to reach "reluctant readers." For kids who dislike reading but love the Bratz, I think it's a valid argument. If my daughter chose to read a Bratz book over nothing at all, I'd have a hard time pulling that book, albeit brain candy, from her lil hands.

What's your position on pulling commercialized type books like Bratz from schools?

milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
Agreed CG. I think it's up to the parent not the company.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I dont have a prob with Bratz being over commercial, I have a problem with them sexualizing childhood. IF you dont want them to read it, dont buy them or check them out. if people stop asking for them they will go away.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 9 years
first of all "sweet valley high"? wo that just brought me back!!! im not sure hows its going to be later on when my kids get older..but for now they pick all the books they want. she has picked up some bratz books and i've always put them back. i dont even buy her the dolls or let her watch the show. its not the best thing in the world. BUT i dont think they should pull it off the shelf because some parents dont want their children to pick it. its up to the parent to talk to their kids and explain to them why this book is better than that one. if my child later on, when she's a bit older, is really into the bratz and wants one of the books i wouldnt mind it so much as long as she knows that its for fun and she needs to read better books. we'll see how it goes in a few years!
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Yeah I'd totally rip that book from my child's hand as well. I'm not a believer of "anything is better than nothing." Sometimes I think nothing is better.
SweetnLow SweetnLow 9 years
I agree with Mommy of 3. I feel like if all my DD wants to read is a Bratz book, then I have failed as a parent. Of course, I'm a little bit biased against Bratz to begin with as I think that they are too over-sexualized for kids, but that's another conversation... :)
sassy_chick sassy_chick 9 years
As a teacher, I can definitely speak to the motivation of reluctant readers. I teach fifth grade, and I have two students who are reading on a first-grade level. I could sit around all day and make excuses for the reasons (minimal parent involvement, inattention by previous teachers, low aptitude, etc.), but the reality is that these children are my responsibility until June. The other reality is that it is impossible to become a better reader without actually reading. So, I look for high-interest, low vocabulary literature to get a book in their hands, then transition into more traditionally acclaimed literature as they gain confidence and comprehension skills. If the Bratz will provide me with a jumping-off point, so be it. I can't tell you how many wrestling magazines and books I have told children not to bring back to school because the "f" word is everywhere (their parents actually bought,/i> them these). You have to admit: Bratz are better than that.
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 9 years
I would have no problem pulling the Bratz book from her hands and putting something else in them.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
The Scholastic orders that are sent home I think do have a responsibility to offer appropriate items, not just a catch-all of "anything is better than nothing." If parents wanted it pulled, then I have no problem with them pulling it, even if it's a book I loved, like Harry Potter. Their whole point is to sell books through the schools and if they have a large group that won't buy it due to what's on the list, it's good business to remove it. It's not like I can't go elsewhere to get it.
Roarman Roarman 9 years
If we get down to it isn't Harry Potter at this point pretty commercialized? I think it's ridiculous. Is Winnie the Pooh off the list too? How about Clifford the Big Red Dog? I understand these started out as stories, but a lot of kids don't know these beyond TV/Movies or their merchandise line. If it gets a kid interested in reading then I say leave it alone.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
That is a tough one. I don't think the company should pull it because it should be the parents choice whether or not their child can read about the Bratz dolls. But I wouldn't allow my child to read it. BUT (another one) I agree with your statment that if my child hated reading but was willing to give that book a try, I would be all for it.
Mommy-of-Three Mommy-of-Three 9 years
I like my children to read a wide variety of books, and I feel it is my responsibility to find appropriate books for them to read. I don't feel it is necessary to demand a company remove books that I don't agree with, for whatever reason. Each month my 2nd and 3rd grader bring home the scholastic book order forms plus we visit the library weekly. I guide their choices and if they choose something I don't want them reading I say no. I wouldn't expect other parents to have the same guidelines as me and vice versa. If you don't want your child reading it, don't buy or borrow it. I have no problem with them reading a little SpongeBob or Star Wars if they are balanced with educational books also.
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