>As a parent, I find myself want to protect my kids from everything. I freak when my oldest tells me she’s gone someplace or done something that I know had the potential to harm her. When she was drinking and going to frat parties (her boyfriend put a stop to that, thank God!) I was terrified she’d call me one night or early morning telling me she’d been assaulted. I can’t begin to describe the horror, the fear that thought brings me. I don’t know of many parents who don’t feel fear for their kids, but having experienced some terrible things in my life, I want to save my kids the pain of it all. Just one thing…I can’t.
What happens to my girls once they’re no longer under my thumb is beyond my control. However, I can protect them by arming them with knowledge. I’ve taught them how to protect themselves, how to think about where they are and what they’re doing. IOWs how to pay attention. I’ve also taught them by letting them read books that might scare them or make them sad. It’s a learning experience. However, I would NEVER attempt to tell another parent what book their kid should or shouldn’t read based on this concept…”The parent felt it could upset her daughter, Shain said, and it was beyond her maturity level.”
That line is taken from the Westport Now.com article regarding one parent’s attempt to get a book banned from her child’s middle school. This was in 2006, and you can read the entire article here. I cannot find whether it was removed or if it’son or off the shelves.
The Lovely Bones (Buy the Book)
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books; 1 Mti Rep edition (September 30, 2009)
Sebold’s first novel after her memoir, Lucky is a small but far from minor miracle. Sebold has taken a grim, media-exploited subject and fashioned from it a story that is both tragic and full of light and grace. The novel begins swiftly. In the second sentence, Sebold’s narrator, Susie Salmon, announces, “I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.” Susie is taking a shortcut through a cornfield when a neighbor lures her to his hideaway. The description of the crime is chilling, but never vulgar, and Sebold maintains this delicate balance between homely and horrid as she depicts the progress of grief for Susie’s family and friends. She captures the odd alliances forged and the relationships ruined: the shattered father who buries his sadness trying to gather evidence, the mother who escapes “her ruined heart, in merciful adultery.” At the same time, Sebold brings to life an entire suburban community, from the mortician’s son to the handsome biker dropout who quietly helps investigate Susie’s murder. Much as this novel is about “the lovely bones” growing around Susie’s absence, it is also full of suspense and written in lithe, resilient prose that by itself delights. Sebold’s most dazzling stroke, among many bold ones, is to narrate the story from Susie’s heaven (a place where wishing is having), providing the warmth of a first-person narration and the freedom of an omniscient one. It might be this that gives Sebold’s novel its special flavor, for in Susie’s every observation and memory of the smell of skunk or the touch of spider webs is the reminder that life is sweet and funny and surprising.