Friday, April 14, 2006
  The Twins are Twelve
Doesn't that sound like the title of one of those old fashioned, sweet-natured books for kids? I was shopping for my kids birthday (which is tomorrow) and found that most of the books being marketed to teens have romance as the main theme. (Not something I particularly want to encourage.) Or they are nitty, gritty exposes of how horrible high schools are. If you want something clean, fun, perhaps a bit educational or at least thought provoking, the pickings are pretty slim.

Used to be murder, swearing, heavy petting (snogging if you're a Harry Potter fan), kids being mean and nasty and getting away with it, were taboo. With two preteens whose reading taste is near to adult, I wish those days were still with us! I mean, The Chocolate War may reflect reality in Catholic boys schools (and I hope to God it doesn't!), but that doesn't mean I want to read it as fiction. Similarly, I don't want to introduce my kids to books where the main point to life seems to be make-up and dating. Nor do I want them growing up thinking that the way Ron snogs Parvati (I think that's who he hooks up with) just to make Hermione jealous is a good way to handle one's relationships!

Fortunately, we still have access to the classics. So my kids are getting the complete works of Shakespeare, and a selection of the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson. Of course, murder abounds in Shakespeare, but the snogging, for the most part, takes place off-stage, and while romance abounts, it is decidedly aimed towards marriage in all but the most scoundrelous of individuals. And, all the while the moral of the story is crystal clear. Not to mention that the language is delicious! Last year they got the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe, and it's still one of their favorites.

They're also getting a Jane Yolan fantasy book. Sci-fi (and to a lesser extent fantasy) is one place where kids books still seem to be kids books -- fun, adventure, growing up and learning about yourself and the universe, without too much nastiness. Or at least, not too much nastiness describe in explicit and excrutiating detail.

Speaking of sci-fi books for kids... they so enjoyed Sing the Light, Sing the Warmth, and Receive the Gift by Louise Marley... and I just so happened to find these flat bath confetti soaps in the shapes of flowers, that will be perfect for the make-believe play they like to do based on books-- our bathtub will soon be transformed into a ubanyix with floating flower petals ala Lamdon. (If you have no clue what I am talking about... read the books!)
 
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.


What I'm reading now



Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too.
MoveOn.org. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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