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Author Topic: School book fairs
Michelle
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posted 10 March 2008 02:57 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Those of you with kids in elementary school - what do you think of the book fairs they put on for your kids?

At my son's school, they have a book fair on parent-teacher night (a good time to really sell books, with the parents there with their wallets). Anyhow, I remember being surprised at how many non-book items were there for sale, and most of it crap. I told my son that he could get something but it had to be a book or something to read. But I didn't like being undermined by all that crap.

Looks like I'm not the only one.

quote:
Are you tired of all the items for sale at your book fair that aren’t books--such as toys, video games, posters, and fashion accessories? Do you think that school book fairs should promote reading without promoting TV shows and movies?

Also, I took this picture at a book fair last year. I couldn't BELIEVE this:


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jrose
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Babbler # 13401

posted 10 March 2008 05:30 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmmm ... I didn't realize that Einstein was strictly for boys. It's got to be all that math and science that the fairer sex doesn't excel at. Was there a Books for Girls section too? I'm thinking with a pink tablecloth and a lot of books featuring Disney princesses.

That really is too bad. I used to love the book fairs when I was a kid. I’d actually save up my birthday money in anticipation of them. Though, I don’t think I had the eye for sexism that I do now, so I can’t recall any specifics. My mom volunteered at our elementary school library, so she was partly in charge of stocking the library with new and interesting books that could appeal to both genders, so if I remember correctly we had quite the diverse assortment in those days.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
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posted 10 March 2008 06:28 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Books for boys..Good Lord!

They had one per year at my kids school as a library fundraiser. There was a small selection of novelty pencils, pads, erasers and such, but mainly books. Maybe sorted by age and interest, but not gender. I'm sure our venerable librarian who has been there for ever would know better, but if she didn't she'd have been told in a pretty big hurry.


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Skinny Dipper
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posted 10 March 2008 07:06 AM      Profile for Skinny Dipper   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have purchased books that appeal to different students. No, each book does not need to appeal to everyone. What is needed in each classroom and in the school library are a wide range of books that will appeal to selected groups of students including boys, girls, white, black, "Christian, Jewish, Miscellaneous" (Quote from the Simpsons). Note that there are cross-interests.

I understand why there is a "Books for Boys" tag on some of the books. It is very difficult to get boys interested in reading. I also do understand that the tag may discourage girls from reading those books found under that tag. Perhaps Scholastic should have choosen another name to describe those books such as "Real Interest." I know that's not a great name, but it is not gender specific.

I have been to several Scholastic Book Fairs where students end up buying the latest movie-books or those annoying licorice shaped erasers which I have to confiscate after because students whip them in class or misuse them in another way.

I wish the government could better fund our schools so that we would not need to have commercialism in the schools.

[ 10 March 2008: Message edited by: Skinny Dipper ]


From: Ontarian for STV in BC | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
1234567
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posted 10 March 2008 08:45 AM      Profile for 1234567     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Scholastic Book Fairs

I went to one at our school and I was not impressed with all the junk they were trying to sell for outrageous prices. And the books were not all that great either.

I used to find better books for my kids at garage sales and secondhand book stores.


From: speak up, even if your voice shakes | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
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posted 10 March 2008 09:16 AM      Profile for Caissa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My eldest son especially appreciates all the reference books. I am happy to pay the retail prices because these purchases benefit the school library and classroom acquisition of books.
From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Yibpl
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Babbler # 14791

posted 10 March 2008 05:41 PM      Profile for Yibpl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Skinny Dipper:
... or those annoying licorice shaped erasers which I have to confiscate after because students whip them in class ...

[ 10 March 2008: Message edited by: Skinny Dipper ]


I had forgotten about those! Ahhhhhh the memories!

Anyone remember the bookmobile? I used to think that was so awesome, cool and exotic!!!


From: Urban Alberta, wishing I was in Kananaskis | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
jrose
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posted 24 June 2008 10:07 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Watch this Michelle. It'll tell you exactly what boys should be reading.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 24 June 2008 10:14 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Skinny Dipper:
I understand why there is a "Books for Boys" tag on some of the books. It is very difficult to get boys interested in reading. I also do understand that the tag may discourage girls from reading those books found under that tag.

That's not the only reason I was peeved about it. The other reason is because boys might get the idea that the selections on that table are what boys SHOULD read and all the other stuff is stuff they shouldn't! It can also give the BOYS the idea that books about Einstein are for boys (and not girls), and frankly, my son gets enough of that kind of sexist conditioning by growing up in our society. He doesn't need it reinforced at school.

That's all we need - another generation of BOYS who think that science and technology books are for boys.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 24 June 2008 10:16 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
jrose - good god in heaven.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jrose
babble intern
Babbler # 13401

posted 24 June 2008 10:18 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Horrifying, isn't it? I stumbled across it on the Open Book Toronto blog. The whole post can be found here.
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Catchfire
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posted 24 June 2008 10:56 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ahh, the interminable crisis of the American Male. Its history is as long as that of the United States. Perpetually emasculated, perpetually under siege, masculinity is always at risk.

"Where did TIME TRAVEL come in?"


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N.Beltov
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posted 24 June 2008 11:30 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Over at Quill & Quire John McFetridge points out on Quillblog that it is on TV sitcoms where all these male mental lightweights are displayed. And that's probably where Glenn Beck gets his cultural instructions and cues from anyway.

No wonder whiny conservatives like him are so distressed. He probably feels outnumbered by vampires, gangsters in therapy, and reality show contestants. Just say "No" to the idiot box.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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Babbler # 560

posted 25 June 2008 03:21 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, you've got to wonder if the guy has ever actually READ a children's book. Their problem seems to be that girls are no longer portrayed in fiction as helpless little damsels in distress, and they assume that if girls are not helpless then this somehow emasculates boys.

There are all sorts of books where boys are not only the main characters, but also the hero, without turning the female characters into airheads looking to be saved by a boy. I mean, hello, HARRY POTTER?

The Magic Treehouse series is a brother and sister who both have strengths and weaknesses. The sister is impetuous which means she is more fearless than the boy, but the boy is the one who is very studious and smart and likes to do the research.

And there are all sorts of series that are sort of "aimed" at boy readers, like the gross-out novels that Dan Pilkov writes (Captain Underpants and others). The characters in that are boys.

I find no end of books for my son to read, with strong male AND female characters in them. And I think that's a good thing.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 25 June 2008 08:09 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
There are all sorts of books where boys are not only the main characters, but also the hero, without turning the female characters into airheads looking to be saved by a boy. I mean, hello, HARRY POTTER?

Hah!!! I thought of the Harry Potter series too! We're currently reading book four aloud.

I don't like most of the Scholastic company's books. They tend to be based too much on commercial take-offs of toys and movies, and those particular products are dumbed down too much, just fluff. Both the wild girls are very advanced readers for their ages, so we're spending more time on more challenging material.

There is also the sexist thing in books for girls -- lots of Bratz (I HATE those things!), fairies, princesses and fluff. Now, I know some light recreational fluff can be a fun read, and we get that from the library sometimes, but owning it generally leads to a quick read and then clutter -- the girls just don't go back to it. I would rather invest in something that has substance and will be revisited later.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 25 June 2008 08:22 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've seen these sorts of book sales in federal government departments that I've worked for.

I've no doubt that some of it is simply part of "covert" operations to privatize public education as part of the neo-conservative plan to turn all human relations into market relations. Get a foot in the door, and then gradually murder public education.

The content is also suspect, with stereotyped learning methodologies and so on, and with fund-raising for fundamentalist organizations and pathological anti-abortionists. Before buying a book it's wise to find out - I mean REALLY find out - where your hard earned money is going. ETA: These zealots are good at covering their tracks.

[ 25 June 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Skinny Dipper
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posted 26 June 2008 04:33 AM      Profile for Skinny Dipper   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
While my comment may sound stereotypical, I do find that boys look for books with action and girls look for books that deals with relationships. This is not absolute as boys and girls can look for both sometimes. Sometimes if boys and girls read the same book, they will pick-up different information.

A few years ago, CBC television did a feature on the gender gap in reading. I found it interesting that one boy in the feature didn't like reading Treasure Island--something Glenn Beck liked.


From: Ontarian for STV in BC | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged

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