Book Ratings?!

Here is an interesting article from SF Gate. School trustees may want to put ratings on required reading, which will inform parents about their contents.\" Several trustees say they want to do a better job of alerting parents to content that they might find inappropriate for their children. They are also reviewing how the Fairfield- Suisun school district selects required reading and responds to community challenges to books on the list.\"

\"The books that touched off the Fairfield ruckus were ``House of the Spirits\'\' by San Rafael author, Isabel Allende, and ``Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth\'s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa,\'\' by Mark Mathabane.\"

\"Allende\'s critically acclaimed ``House of the Spirits\'\' follows three generations of a South American family through the eyes of its clairvoyant protagonist, Clara. It is on the California Department of Education\'s recommended reading list. ``Kaffir Boy\'\' is Mathabane\'s memoir of growing up in poverty under apartheid.\"

\"Both books have been required in Fairfield-Suisun for several years and were assigned summer reading for the sophomore honors English class at Armijo High.\"

\"While reading the book over the summer, 15-year-old Catherine Mopas complained to her mother about sexually explicit and violent scenes in the books.\"

``I was disgusted with myself having to read it,\'\' said Catherine. ``I felt like I\'d never be rid of it from my mind. That was only temporary, though.\"

\"Cherei Mopas read the books and contacted her local newspaper and later the school principal, complaining of scenes in Allende\'s book describing in detail rape, sex between dogs, and necrophilia. She objected to the brutality described in Mathabane\'s book, particularly a graphic scene in which young boys are being prepared for prostitution.\"

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