Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Scholastic: This Means War

I have been dreading the first time that Magpie goes to a school Scholastic Book Fair ever since January, 2007, when I read this particularly depressing article from my oft-quoted Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood:

Last year, Caroline sent her seven-year-old son to his Scholastic school
book fair with five dollars and a note to his teacher that she wanted him to
pick a good reading book. Instead, he came home with a Batman drawing
book and three thirteen-inch flexible pencils.
I have been dreading the day, too, because I know that when my daughter brings home her version of the tale above, I am going to insist that her public school no longer holds Scholastic Book Fairs. And then, all the trouble I've gone to fitting-in will evaporate. Scholastic themselves claim that 35-40% of the books sold at a typical book fair are linked to a movie, television show or video game. This is not what I want for my child.
Have educators really just given-up? Just told the corporations, OK you win - make the kids consuming clones who think a book needs to go with a movie or TV show, that this is what life is all about?
Well, today was the day. Book Fair Day. I gave her twenty bucks. I told myself, my kid loves books as much - if not more - than any other kindergarten kid. She will bring home a good book. A classic, or maybe a new book destined to be a classic. I can't wait to see what she gets!
But, alas, that fairytale was not meant to be.
She brought home these:

1. Dora's Perfect Pumpkin - what possible plot could this book even have? Have we not already exhausted the Halloween genre completely?
And wait, it gets worse:

2. Barbie the Island Princess Panorama Sticker Book - this is not even an actual book, it is a sticker panorama!
So I ask you, my loyal readers? Is it time? Should I start a rival school Book Fair company? What would you do?


l.e.s.ter said...

Hells yeah, stick it to the man! And when your courage flags at the end of a long day, just remember Barbie the Island Princess Panorama Sticker Book, Barbie the Island Princess Panorama Sticker Book, and keep fighting!

skramly said...

Do it! Scholastic sucks -- I can't even believe they can still call themselves 'scholastic' because they just aren't.

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