I have an Oregon Pilgrim reader who challenged a book that was read by her child’s third grade class. That was Ingrid last year. My Little-Big-Blue-Eyes. Not only was the book, itself, questionable (descriptive passages of what dead bodies look and smell like, describing what happens to a face after it’s owner has been scalped, and of dead children and murdered parents), but proper procedure was not followed to give parents the ability to peruse the book and opt out, if needed. She discovered the book’s questionable content after her son had already begun reading it. The book was not listed at the beginning of the school year as one of the class books. I looked at the book’s sample pages online, and in the afterword, the author admits this is not a history of the revolution. He says, “The simple fact is that all combat is outrageous.”  The book seems to be an effort to graphically portray the horrors of war. Take a look. This gives you the sample pages from the book: http://www.amazon.com/Woods-Runner-Gary-Paulsen/dp/0385738846#reader_0385738846

This is the article about the parents challenging it: http://www.centraloregonian.com/archives/Story.aspx/12826/another-school-book-challenged-at-board-meeting

I was curious to hear what readers think. Does the school have a responsibility to post ahead of time the books to be read as a class during the school year? Is this material appropriate for eight-and-nine-year-olds (to be read, discussed, and participate in introspective assignments as a class)?  And last of all, what do you think of the label attributed to parents who make objections like these: “ultra-moral.”

This is your “coffee talk” topic. Discuss amongst yourselves.