When was the last time you read a book, liked it, and actually took the time to review it? Here’s a great article by Sandra A. Shelton about the reason reviews are so important. Check it out – Amanda M. Thrasher.
You know the drill. You read a good book, maybe tell a friend about it, tweet about it, put it up on facebook or may even like the book’s Facebook Page. You are finished and move on to the next book. Wait! Let’s talk specifically about books that do not take our kids to weird places in their heads, stories that contribute to positive mental development particularly for kids from 12-18. What would it by like if we made good books popular using today’s unrestrained instant feedback mechanisms for the good of all our kids, our culture? What if you used that powerful voice we all now have to say Yes or No to writer’s who do not have a grip on what words can do to impressionable kids when read in the secret intimacy of the world of imagination excited from the written word? What if …”
Your review of a book whether it is on Amazon.com, the book’s homepage, the publisher’s page, or wherever could be the reason someone chooses to read or not to read a book or to allow a child to read or not to read a book. If you are silent, you have abdicated your own voice. Your voice in the mix is vital if we are to keep our kids’ minds on things to move them into positive, relationship-wise futures.
Think it won’t matter? Think saying nothing is the right thing to do? Think again. Silence assumes assent in many cases. When kids (or parents) see the shiny, cleverly designed book cover and its cleverly wordsmithed title on the shelf, it seems so innocent. When picked up or leafed through online, it is visually appealing and looks readable. Reviews on the book itself extol its wonderfulness. Yes, but …. we can get more feedback than just a few reviews on the book itself today, particularly for Kindle and like versions of the book. Consumer reviews are everywhere if we take the time to google them or #[BookTitle] them.
The truth for where this book will lead a young mind is easier than ever to find; but, one must take the time to do it, sort of a due diligence kind of thing. Do you have the time to save our youth from getting grotesque messages that confuse, distort, and sometimes destroy a path to good, functional relationship skills development?
Keep the best on top and the unseemly on bottom
Meghan Cox Gurdon wrote an article entitled, The Case for Good Taste in Children’s Books. www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis.asp. In it she references a previous article with this comment: “…. my article discussed the increasingly dark current that runs through books classified as YA, for Young Adult—books aimed at readers between 12 and 18 years of age—a subset that has, in the four decades since Young Adult became a distinct category in fiction, become increasingly lurid, grotesque, profane, sexual, and ugly.” The balance of her article is worth the read but it will scare you to death about what is being called good reading for kids.
Someone has to call the kettle black, note that the Emperor has no clothes, and acknowledge the elephant is in the room. What our children read stays with them for a lifetime. Quick: name three favorite stories from childhood. See, not hard to do. And if you have been around kids lately, they often reread the really “exciting ones” many times. Parallel case in point with movies. I was in a theater classroom and the task was to choose a musical. The teens’ favorite seemed to be Sweeney Todd. At the time I was unfamiliar with the musical so rented it and watched it. I could not get through it without beginning to skim as I reached the end. I sat back pale and trembling. The movie – and a musical no less – is about cannibalism! Singing about the joys of cannibalism! And with a star like Angela Lansbury to give it “artistic” merit. Again, the real shocker is that these kids chose this as a favorite! At ages 15-18, this was already their favorite. Worse still, in my view, was the high school’s production that year of Little Shop of Horrors, again a musical and this time about a human blood eating plant who requires serial murders to be fed. Oh, yeah… that’s here we need our kids heads. Ergo, serial murderers by Albert Fish and Jeffrey Dahmer who by the way were convicted of the murders but not of the cannibalism which is outside the law and taboo.
Word of Mouth Now Rules!
Every time you read a book, particularly one from Progressive Rising Phoenix, take the time to write a review. Remember, good things can go viral as quickly as evil things. You want better books to be popular? Write reviews and then reference them in all your social media. You want better movies from Hollywood? Don’t pay to see the bad ones; write reviews of the good ones.
We can control what goes into the heads of your young. All of us can help create what’s popular. When good men fail to do anything, evil flourishes. Together we can be a mighty force for good.
By Sandra A. Shelton – Motivational Speaker, Author, Executive Coach, Consultant, Community Involvement Strategist and a Professional Speaker.