Thursday, October 15, 2009

Scholastic Book Fairs Anti-Vampire


Dear Scholastic Book Fairs,

I am volunteering at the book fair at my two older kids' middle school this week. My main job is watching to make sure the little creeps they attend school with don't swipe the worthless crap you guys sell for outrageous sums of cash. You know what I'm talking about: the big hand on a pole for $3.99, the smelly pencils for $1.99, the dollar bill erasers for $.50.

Are you shocked that they swipe that crap? Of course you're not. You expect it. You build it into your whole money-making scheme. Oh, sure, there are plenty of books to be read, but the big draw is always that junk and the Guinness Book of World Records. (I think it's page 292 this year where you include the biggest breasts item.)

So, yeah, anyway, when I arrived yesterday for opening day, one of the women running the shebang pointed out a little Post-It note she had posted that said the last installment in the Twilight series was not being sold.

I am flabbergasted. The first three books are okay for you to sell. (Along with movie posters and books about the movies and calendars about the movie stars and on and on and on.) But the last one isn't.

And that's because...?

I don't know. You tell me.

P.S. I'm no crazy-ass Twilight fan. I just don't get see what line is being drawn. I mean, in the last book, doesn't that vampire/human couple marry before consummating the relationship? Is it sexual intercourse in any situation that's inappropriate for middle schoolers? (If that's the case, you might want to check out page 342 in the World Records book.)


[Kidding about the page numbers, folks. Creative license, eh?]
[Photo courtesy - or not - of Smencils-fundraising.com]

15 comments:

Michele Renee said...

Very Interesting.
I will have to see if they sell all four around here. And the Guinness book.
Fortunately mine just have eyes for Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.

Elaine B said...

You’re right. This is outrageous. How dare Scholastic sell something so vile as pencils and books! Or something as evil as a hand pointer. Shudder. And those erasers are sure to rot their teeth.

Seriously? As a teacher for more than 12 years and a parent of a middle-schooler who loves to read world record books – thank God! – I can’t believe this gets you so upset. Why do you find such joy in taking pot-shots at everything?

The only reason your blog even came to my attention is because I get Google alerts for Twilight. But I’m glad I saw this post. If you had researched even a little, you would have found interviews with Stephenie Meyers Twilight series author who said she wrote this book for older kids 15 -16 not middle schools ages. If you want the fourth book, just go buy it at Walmart. I also did a little more research – amazing how easy that is to do - and found that Sholastic sells it through their online site for teachers. Some schools probably don’t want this book in their library since it includes things like a vampire tearing open a girl’s uterus with his teeth to rip out their baby. Yes, that’s a little more intense then the first three books in my opinion.

Patois said...

Thanks, Elaine, for acknowledging that I love to take pot shots at everything.

Usually it's just the regular readers who notice this.

And thanks for coming back 11 times -- so far -- today. Looks like I've got a new fan.

Jocelyn said...

Having not read any of the TWILIGHT series, I can't begin to imagine the objections. Perhaps Scholastic wanted to keep that shelf open for more CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS. You know, improving children's minds and all.

Jocelyn said...

Oh, and honey? I'm hoping Google reader (or, um, my comment here) never turns Elain B onto my blog. I do take her points, but that doesn't override your right to mock what you want on your blog (and you're damn funny), especially when you're mocking useless, cheap crap (including many of the books) that doesn't contribute in any way to a child's academic improvement. Retail stores can carry the erasers shaped like dollar bills, but why our schools? My kids aren't even allowed to bring that stuff into the classroom, so there is a bit of a disconnect, eh?

I guess I'm always made breathless by out-of-proportion anger that masquerades as righteous indignation.

Eluciq said...

This is funny as hell. I am a teacher at an elementary school and our book fair started this week. I am helping out with the taking of money at the fair before and after school...and I am saddened by all the purchases of what i lovingly call "CRAP"...not so much the pencils & erasers, but the electronic games for cheap and the pencil sharpeners and the "nose pickers"(aka pointers)and whatever else the nickel and dimers want to buy! There are so many great books, but yet all this sh%$ sells first...I am just glad our fair lasts long enough that books eventually become a priority!

I laughed at your humor with the Guiness Book of World Records...that is a big draw for looking at, but not so much at purchasing...hmmm...

Keep your "pot-shots" coming...LOVE IT...{I skipped over to your site from Caloden...I have to admit I think I could become a professional Blog Stalker :) }

IzzyMom said...

I hate all that stupid non-book crap they sell at the book fair. When I send my kids with money for a book, I don't expect them to come home with any novelty erasers or lead-laced licensed-character jewelry or anything but a BOOK.

amylou1977 said...

middle schoolers where I live should be old enough to read all the twilight books there is no sex in them and pretty PG if you ask me... i would let any one who can read at that level to read, its interesting and will get them to read. It says that a baby vampire would eat its way out of its mother to get out yes but it wasn't graphic, I don't get Elaines problem... NO i rather have my kids laughing and stuff over national geographic because its educational..NOT.. you really must be into censurship and one of those people who took harry potter off the shelf.... Elaine mind your P's and Q's this is a supurb blog and I love it..by the way its a blog she has a right to air her opinion

Jomama said...

Poor Elaine, taking umbrage on a site that is regularly laced in sarcasm. She did provide good insight on the Twilight issue. However, I don't imagine she would enjoy your blog on a regular basis.

I think you are hilarious, and I agree with the frustration on the junk. Then again, some kids don't really have the money for the books, and they want to feel like they got to buy something, so the inexpensive stuff has its place. My kids are instructed to bring home books. With WORDS.

I do wish Scholastic would add more books to the selection. Seems like it is the same old books, same old junk every year.

the mama bird diaries said...

A Twilight controversy. I like it.

melissa said...

omg. elaine b...lighten up.

Stillie said...

Scholastic book fairs are all about the junk. It's frustrating. The stuff they send us for HS is really more like MS stuff and none of it is even remotely interesting to my students. Of course, unless it involves gangs, violent crimes, drugs, sex, or rap, it doesn't catch their attention anyway, but still...

I still take my students every year, just because I feel it's my job to promote reading as a choice, instead of an assignment, but it's a waste of time for all of us, because nobody ever buys anything.

Sian said...

A teacher for twelve years writes a series of non-sequiters. Depressing.

Perhaps she came back to your blog twelve times to see how a good writer works.

Here's to Patois the Pot Shotter. We love you :o)

Dee Martin said...

hmmm to set the stage - I AM one of those crazy twilight fans LOL and I work in a high school and always worked the book fairs at my kids schools. I always emptied my change jar for the kids who's parents didn't send extra money for taxes. I always ended up bying one book for the kid whose mom couldn't or wouldn't send money (there is something about a kindergarten kiddo with his head down on his desk in tears while the rest of the class is joyfully perusing their recent aquisitions) and I also HATE the junk. I always had to argue with my kids because they wanted to cook poster, the goofy pencil, or...the stupid books based on things like spongebob squarepants or some other tv or movie that was the recent craze. Yes I KNOW that these are the only kind of books some kids will want to read but I always felt that a school book fair should number one - sell BOOKS and number two - GOOD BOOKS. And what would be so bad about a little fund for those kids that can't afford them. And the junk that was there was limited in number so I always suspected that it was stuff they couldn't sell otherwise. I wasn't being stuffy - I wanted my kids to learn to LOVE reading (a lot of caps in this comment LOL) and I thought that the point of scholastic book fairs was to do just that. Oh what's that you say? It's really a fund raiser? Oh so in that case our high horse about selling junk has nothing in reality to do with our kids loving reading correct? Please Elaine - get ovr yourself. I think as school fundraisers go - this is better than chocolate or cookie dough that we want them to peddle door to door but still - it IS all about the money.

Dee Martin said...

PS. sorry Patois - stepping away from the soapbox now :)

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