Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Rocks yes, Awesome no

Attention to any elementary school students who may be reading this: you shouldn't be reading my blog it's full of cursewords; but also you should know that the children of your teachers TOTALLY read your book order books.

I'm sorry, kids. I couldn't help myself. I've got a problem with rocks. When I cleaned up my childhood bedroom recently I found approximately four pounds of pebbles in there. I pick up river rocks and pretty rocks and put them in jars and never do anything with them. I used to set big smooth rocks next to the burners on the stove and sometimes they'd get dirty so my mom would put them in the dishwasher and then my sister would find them and decide that my mom and I were both crazy.

This book about (and including) rocks has been sitting at my parents' house for the last two weeks and taunting me so last night I broke down and read the damn thing. It was disappointing. There were some good basic facts about rock types and properties, and it did in fact include rocks, but it also had the cheapest, shittiest magnifying glass I've ever seen, a totally superfluous pipette, and one of the rocks wasn't in the book (they talked about the properties of and tricks you can do with talc but included a sample of graphite instead). The printing was also really reprehensible, so smudged and offset in some places that the words were difficult to read.

So boo on you, Scholastic. Someone here made some bad choices. And stop trying to make books like this hip and in-tune with kids these days. Clearly your cool-kid-ese dictionary was printed in the 70's and no one has bothered to make a new once since, which I know because I remember the same cringe-inducing, over-excited language in my own book fair books.

And to the kid who ordered this book: some of the safety measures in this book are good (don't go exploring around mines and try to stay away from poisons) but some of them are bad and I feel like I, as a responsible adult, need to tell you that you do not need an adult to help you bang two chunks of quartz together in a dark room.

     - Alli

Merrill, Robin. Big Box of Awesome Rocks. Scholastic. New York: New York. 2011.

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