What are children reading now? Is it true that there has been
a downward spiral in the reading abilities of our populace?
Has Reading Been Redefined? just may answer some of these
Below is just a snapshot of the books that are available for our children to read in our local community and school libraries.
A Review of God Went To Beauty School
by Debbie DeGroff
God Went to Beauty School by Cynthia Rylant is a very quick read. This is a book that Accelerated Reader lists for Middle Graders in fourth to eighth grades. It is written on a third grade, eighth month reading level. The three thousand five hundred and fifty-four words in this book take about fifteen to twenty minutes to read. Compare that to Nancy Drew and The Secret of the Old Clock which is almost TEN times as long or The Boxcar Children which is almost FIVE times as long.
Certainly some who are mighty with the pen can say much in few words. This is not my issue. I have simply selected this book because of its brevity. It’s short enough for me to address and brief enough for you to read for yourself.
I have noticed for a long time that words do not have the same meaning for all people. There are numerous pins, plaques and bumper stickers that state “I believe”. Often we assume that the person is a Christian…but is that a correct assumption? Perhaps we need to follow up with the obvious question—-to whom or what do you believe? Are all professing Christians, Christians? Matthew 7:22-23 addresses this issue:
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied
in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name
done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Let’s examine the god of Rylant’s book. The back jacket states that:
Rylant imagines a God inspired to go out and
experience human things. But what would
God do if He could live in a human world?
God Went to Beauty School
He went there to learn how to
give a good perm… page 3
…somehow He was responsible though He
knew logically that He had only set the
world on its course…page 5
Pages 7-8 talks about God sitting in a boat and looking around at the land and skies.
He was surprised. Because, really,
He’d just been winging it.
On page 15, God is arrested for getting into a bar fight as a result of someone saying something nasty about Jesus Christ; He…
was only there because He liked the jukebox…
On pages 17-18 we find that God realizes that He is happy…
And He wished there was just someone to
see it. He’d gotten such a bad rap all these
years for being pissed off all the time…
He was at peace. Buddha told Him it
could be this way.
Next we find God with a cold.
He wanted some comic books and juice…
So He calls up his old friend Mother Theresa and she brings him some comic books. pages 23-24
This next page is very telling. Rylant writes that:
God Wrote A Book
No, not that one.
Everybody thinks He
wrote that one,
but He didn’t. page 27 [emphasis mine]
God gets cable television on page 29 and watched it all week.
He liked it. He knew He wasn’t supposed to.
Then Gabriel came over and they…
played poker four weeks straight.
God Is A Girl begins page 35.
He knows He’s a guy, too. He knows He’s
lots of things…an eagle…a tree…On less
than wonderful days He’s even a pig…
Lest you are confused about Rylant’s God, she lets us know on pages 37-38 that:
God Has A Cousin
Lucy, or Lucifer, if you want to be formal.
Oh, and by the way, God’s still looking
for Lucy to move back.
God has been God for so long even He
doesn’t have a clue where He came from. Page 47
How about Sheila, God’s right-hand angel on page 49?
God lived purely in the moment so He wasn’t
the greatest long-range planner. Page 51
E.R. Bird, who reviewed this book on Amazon says,
I have heard that Bible study groups use the poems to study.
An overview on the Barnes and Noble site states:
Cynthia Rylant takes teens on an invigorating
spiritual journey as she explores what God’s
life on Earth might be like.
Youtube has a 1:25 clip about this book:
And while her version of God may not exactly
be yours, there’s sure to be at least one poem
in this collection that will help you catch a
glimpse of something holy.
On this next site, a sermon is preached using the poem God Died from this Rylant book. This is the same poem in which we learn about Sheila, God’s right-hand angel. The message is titled A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
Here is another sermon in which one of these poems was used. The Rev. Catherine Robinson states that a seminary intern “pointed me to a glorious little book of Rylant’s called God Went to Beauty School.”
From reading the numerous opinions of this book, I gather that people are overjoyed to have found a god that is just like them.
Hmmm. Adults are obviously reading this book. But what about the children?
I think they might actually be drawn to this book. It’s only 56 pages, so it couldn’t be too painful…The word God is in the title so it must be a Christian book… If the child lives in West Virginia and has to read a book by a WV author, this would be the one hands-down. It’s probably the shortest…
Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge?
therefore have I uttered that I understood not;
things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Job 42:3
Like Job, Rylant has uttered things that she understood not.
I’ll leave you with these questions. If adults are confused about this book, do you really think that the children will be less so? Should you be examining your children’s books a little more carefully?
All this time, you’ve probably been wondering where your child came up with “an idea like that.” Now you know. It was at the library.
A parent who complained about a book assigned to his daughter at Gilford High School in Gilford, New Hampshire, was arrested and taken away in handcuffs from a school board meeting for refusing to “be quiet” when repeatedly admonished by a board member. William Baer, whose ninth-grade daughter last week was assigned the book “Nineteen Minutes,” came to the meeting to protest the book’s assignment and the district’s failure to notify parents the book contained graphic descriptions of “rough sex” between teens. According to the Laconia Daily Sun, Baer challenged the board to read aloud the controversial portion of “Nineteen Minutes” during the meeting, but school officials refused.
A New Hampshire teen has blasted her local school board for resorting to “force” and told members she doesn’t feel safe when she is around them, in a terse statement that has been posted online. The comments come from Marina Baer and was directed to members of the Gilford, N.H., district board. “I just watched my father get arrested because he broke the two-minute rule at a board of education meeting,” she said. “This just shows you resort to force at the first turn of conflict and I’m appalled. “I don’t trust you. I haven’t. I honestly don’t feel safe around you people,” she said, before turning away to leave.
50 shades of government-controlled filth is not exactly what parents send their children to school for, is it? Thanks to Common Core proponents, an erotic novel landed in the hands of 10th graders who had to read the book out loud in their Arizona classroom. When you read the excerpt, you will understand why parents are fuming. (NOTE – parts of this story could cause readers to stumble. Please proceed forewarned.)
Child safety advocates are fighting to reform the federal government’s common core English curriculum after parents complained about graphic sexual material in assigned material. Specifically, one novel on the Common Core list of recommended texts, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, portrays pedophilia in a sickeningly sympathetic light.