My letter is in response to Terri Winder’s recent article and letter in the San Juan Record. I am a junior at Monticello High School, where I have been involved in the YAC program.
YAC was created to accomplish two goals: 1) to encourage kids to read, particularly the ones who don’t and 2) to find out what kinds of books kids like to read. This is an optional program and only a handful of students are consistent with it.
Each student reads a book, then fills out a review on it, explaining why they did/did not like it. I’ve written many scathing critiques. Quite frankly, I am finished with the program; I get enough swearing, perversion and immaturity in the halls – I’m not going to have it in my reading, too.
I have picked up at least 15 of these new books that YAC has put out for us and I can honestly say that four out of five of them were, to say the least, incredibly disappointing and shocking. Now I don’t read them at all; it’s too risky for me.
“Thick,” the novel Ms. Winder endured, did not “slip through the cracks” alone; it had plenty of company. I’ve started to read books that encouraged all the basic principles parents teach their kids NOT to do: the worst kinds of lying, pornography, murder, stealing, suicide, profanity, violence and sexual perversion. No, this was not just one book that a “paranoid” parent happened to pick up. Almost all of the books I’ve tried to read for this program focused on these things. I don’t know how most of the YAC books turn out; I quit reading most.
What a sad way to be introduced to literature. I hate having to find out whether a book is appropriate or not and then having to try to forget things I’ve innocently read.
Thank you very much, but I think I’ll stick to the classics.