Canadian Jewish News: York school board pulls controversial children’s book: “The York Region District School Board has pulled a controversial children’s book about the Middle East from the prestigious Silver Birch Awards reading program for older elementary school students”
“Critics” claim it gives a negative view of Israelis and that kids in this age group (ages 8-11) won’t understand the context. Well, first off, it’s showing kids’ perceptions – it is not stating anything; it’s not the author’s fault if children grow up believing that killing themselves doesn’t hurt. Of course, the article only has excerpts from the Palestinian children, not the Israelis, so I don’t know if the Israeli children are as negative as the others.
At least it’ll still be available to kids from the TDSB. The OLAStore at Superconference usually sells copies of all books that are in their Forest of Reading program. So, I’m going to get that book and mail it to my god-daughter who is in grade 5 and so fits the age group for the Silver Birch Awards. We’ll see what she thinks, because I’m pretty sure she hasn’t formed any opinions yet on Israelis or Palestinians (or maybe she has, considering the area she lives in is pretty diverse).