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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Ban Huck Finn in schools --- even the sanitized version!

By Jim Mullen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You've all heard the news that Mark Twain's classic anti-slavery, anti-racist book has been changed to take out a very offensive word so more teachers would feel comfortable using the book in their classes. My question is: Why are teachers still trying to foist Mark Twain on children?

You can bet it wasn't taught in schools when he wrote it, I doubt that it sold very well in his racially divided hometown of Hannibal, Mo. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" shouldn't be read by school age children any more than "Rosemary's Baby" should be read out loud at a lap sit. Not because of the offensive word, but because making kids read books they are not mature enough to understand makes them hate reading for the rest of their lives. That's what has kept me from reading "Huckleberry Finn" 45 years since some idiot teacher "made" me read it in high school. Slowly, over the years, I realized that Twain had written a wonderfully subversive book showing that the evilness and degradation of slavery wasn't just hurting slaves, it also corrupted the slavers and their white enablers as well.

Twain was all about words and ideas -- to imagine that he didn't know the power of the words he chose to use is arrogance. Twain wrote a lot about race. He knew what he was talking about. He grew up in pre-Civil War Missouri. He knew real slaves, he knew what his white friends and family thought about them. His book "The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson," the tale of a well-off white child and the son of a light-skinned black slave who are switched at birth. It's not subtle at all in the way it shows racism hurts both the victim and the perpetrators.

The thing that should be changed about "Huckleberry Finn" is not the words; the thing that should be changed is forcing students who aren't ready for it, to read it. It's the same idiotic, reverence for the classics that has killed the joy of reading Dickens and Shakespeare for generations of youngsters. Trust me, Twain was not thinking, "Someday they'll make 'Jersey Shore'-watching 13-year-olds read this one in detention," when he wrote it. It was not written for children, and forcing them to read it, as well as other classics that they have no interest in, has been an educational disaster.

I've read unconfirmed, but probably close-to-the-mark, statistics that 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after they graduate, that 80 percent of U.S. families did not read or buy a book last year. It seems we know how to teach children to read, but we do a much better job of making them not want to. Even if you write a millions-selling book in this country, all it means is that 309 million people didn't buy it.

Of all the books written in Twain's lifetime by other American authors, why are we so wrapped up with the words in "Huckleberry Finn" and not all the other books that used the word? Because the other books, by and large, were racist. And badly written. Twain's was not. It has survived on its merits. I suppose the best thing we could do for "Huckleberry Finn" is to ban it and then maybe teens would want to read it, hoping Huck turns out to be a vampire who falls in love with teenage girls from schools just like theirs, and who look and act just like they do, who have problems just like theirs and say things, like, you know, they way kids, like, really talk. There are plenty of books written for children and young adults. "Huckleberry Finn" is not one of them.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."


Previously:


$38,000 for traffic and weather updates
2011 Predictions: Nostradamus was a hack
2010: A year of annoying junk
Why do bad things happen to stupid people?
Moving on from movie theaters
Money never sleeps, but it does pass out
President Trump kept it classy
Stalking your college kid won't change a thing
Putting my life in ‘Jeopardy’
Mo' government, mo' problems
iLostIt
Dressed for excess
Expert tease
The mysteries of Jersey
‘You are a toilet, where am I?’
Don't we all cheat at the game of life?
What happens when I forget where Google is?
Don't let the doorman hit you on the way out
Picasso fiasco
Purple (hair) ‘Daze’
Let me hear your body talk
Working from work
Babies deserve clean restrooms, too
3-year-old bear-killers are a thing of the past
Money-making ideas on the fly
Collecting and hoarding
Chain of fools
Please come pick up your acting awards, ESPN commentators, you've earned them
You've been superpoked by the U.S. gov't
e-Readin', e-Writin' and e-Rithmatic
A pose by any other name
Warning: Column contains 2010 spoilers
‘He loves only gold, only gold’
Think about direction, wonder why …
Flushing your money down a diamond-studded toilet
More like ‘wack’ Friday
The good, the ad and the ugly
The desert of the real
Let books be large and in charge
I was insulting people way before the Internet
GPS drill sergeant: Left, right, left!
Butterfly in the sky, you make winds go twice as high
Music to my ears it's not
You don't light up my life
Fair or not: Country living is far from ‘Little House’
A parable for the ‘ages’
Top 100 Cable news stories of the century
Green dumb
A developing story
Thinking outside the lunch box
What's good for the goose is good for the scanner
Newspapers will survive, but network TV?
A really big show of generation gaps
When pigs flu
The reports of our decline have been greatly exaggerated
Mergers and admonitions
Invest in gold: little, yellow, different
Stuck in Folsom Penthouse
Collecting karma
Setting loose the creative ‘juice’
It's all in the numbers
You're damaging your brain with practical skills
The real rat pack
The unspeakable luxury of the Park-O-Matic
Gross-ery shopping



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