A few days ago I posted some cool things about my teaching job. Getting kids into books is the best part of what I do. When I see former reluctant readers fighting over the next Black Lagoon book, I get all giggly inside because kids who read tend to avoid the biggest trouble in life. Some states in our country plan future jail space based on third grade literacy scores. Third grade! Anyone who thinks literacy is not a big deal should invest in a home security system.
That said, the
old farts in charge of setting learning standards who haven’t darkened the door of a classroom in fifty years educational powers that be tend to be inflexible in their adherence to the teaching of classic literature. I agree, to a point. Kids should be exposed to and inspired by all the great writers. HOWEVER, I can’t start by teaching classic children’s literature to the kid reading three grade levels behind who just let the air out of all four of his neighbor’s tires. I, personally, can’t afford new tires right now. I haven’t had a raise in four years. Here are my terribly naughty book suggestions for reluctant readers that will keep your tires and car paint intact.
Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray, and Audrey Colman. This is a whole series of books about a flatulent dog whose godawful farts lead him on insane adventures and help him nab the bad guys in the end. This is an ever-growing series of books—I counted seven on Amazon. Don’t even bother with the Beano, because it won’t help!
The Bad Kitty series by Nick Bruel—This dude is pretty twisted, and his cat is a total freak—Uncle Murray is also cause for concern. Don’t leave your children alone with these books because they are guaranteed to promote repeated reading.
The Sophie books by Lara Bergen. These books are about a little girl who is always changing her name. In order to earn the title of Supreme Awesomeness in Sophie the Awesome, she does a number of nutball tricks to impress her friends—including shoving 23 French fries in her mouth at the lunch table. Horrible. The read-aloud of this book silenced 18 seven-year olds right after gym class.
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. Any book with the word “stupid” in the title is sure to offend. Other books by this duo are all inappropriate and guaranteed to make your children want to read.
If your child does bring home one of these books from the library, he/she won’t be underfoot for awhile—you’ll know where he/she is reading by the sound of the cackling!