Not my kind of book club

Somebody put some effort into making sure I knew she wanted me to order several specific items from this month’s Scholastic flyer.

Not only did she use Sharpie and note her name on the back page circled items, but within the pamphlet itself she indicated her extreme interest with hearts, smiley faces, and stars – or all three. (She even circled the price, apparently to emphasize that her choices are very affordable.)

But I have a bone to pick with you, Scholastic. My daughter, like most children, loves being read to.  Loves it!  She begs for me to read every night, even if we’ve played games and watched TV and I let her stay up long past her bedtime.  “Please can’t you just read a little bit.”

And as a relatively new reader, she is even starting to enjoy reading on her own, especially cartoon-centric books like the Babymouse series.

So why, Scholastic, do you have to sweeten the pot with cheap toys and gimmicks?  Of the 11 items my daughter indicated she’d like me to buy, 7 are accompanied with sweet kitten jewelry, 3-D glasses & poster, race car kit, plush pony, feather pen, bracelet & stickers, and colored pencils. Oh, and the Secret Agent Force Field Alarm which is an item itself and comes accompanied by a book.

Do we already have jewelry, 3-D glasses, stuffed ponies, fancy pens, stickers, colored pencils at home? Of course we do!

The items my child did not circle were those I would have selected, such as the Women’s History Pack or Shel Silverstein’s The Missing Piece.  And oddly this pamphlet did not include any Newbury or Caldecott Award winners – usually there’s one of each.

Yes, Scholastic, as your president states in his welcome note on your website, your name does evoke “warm memories from those who treasured their childhood experiences with us. ” And, as you note, “the world has changed immensely since Scholastic was established in 1920”. But I have to say that it does not appear to me that your mission truly is “to encourage the intellectual and personal growth of all children.” The vast assortment of Pokemon, Scooby-Doo, Power Rangers, LEGO Ninjago, and Angry Birds collections lead me to think otherwise.  So I will place a courtesy order – because every time I place an order my child’s classroom gets a free book. Then I will go to my local bookstore to find treasured favorites such as The Borrowers and the Little House series for my girls.

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7 Responses to Not my kind of book club

  1. DLoweinc says:

    At least there is an interest in reading and art, drawing and other activities instead of just gluing herself to the TV… kudos to both her and you!

  2. Maggie says:

    I’m excited for the day when my Zoe is old enough to circle books, just like I did when I was a child, but I’m sure her list will be just like your daughter’s. When I ran a tutoring program the kids earned points, and when they had earned enough points they got to choose a Scholastic book order book. I went through every month and crossed out all the ones that were Not Books, and usually the ones that came with plastic junk. It was a lot of crossing out. My favorite part was choosing the free books for our tutoring program–I was not swayed by 3D glasses or sparkly stickers.


  3. sheriji says:

    I gave Only Daughter money to spend at the Book Fair once (sponsored by Scholastic), with the specific instructions that the money was ONLY TO BE SPENT ON BOOKS and she came home with (really really crappy) gel pens and some cheap worthless jewelry. These were, of course, confiscated, but that didn’t get my $15 back, and it didn’t get her any books.

    In other words, I agree!!!

  4. sheriji says:

    p.s. Thanks for following my new blog! You’re my first at the new location!

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