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to be seething and planning to complain to ds2's teacher tomorrow?

(176 Posts)
Greensleeves Thu 17-Sep-09 17:36:12

ds2 (aged 5 and just started Y1) has come home today with a library book - the children are taken to the library to choose a book once a week

he has come home with a huge hardbacked tome entitled "The Readers Digest Illustrated History of World War II"

I have flicked through it and it is full of photos of tanks, machine guns, people standing outside their bombed-out houses etc


ds1 had this teacher last year and she is excellent, I think very highly of her and am VERY surprised to find that she has allowed this to happen

I really don't want to antagonise her (not only have I liked and respected her for more than a year, she's a bit scaryblush) but I really feel I have to say something!

I have taken the book away from ds2 and told him that is isn't suitable for a 5yo - he is now crying in the living room

AIBU to be really fucked off?

sixlostmonkeys Thu 17-Sep-09 17:37:38

which bit are you complaining about?

colditz Thu 17-Sep-09 17:39:03


the second world war really happened, and he must have been interested in the pictures or he wouldn't have chosen the book. I'd let a five year old look at anything bar dead or violently injured bodies or porn, tbh.

diddl Thu 17-Sep-09 17:39:15

I think YABU if you expect the teacher to check all the books?

If anything, if the children were all in the "children´s section", it´s the fault of the library that the book wasn´t in the correct place.

2kidzandi Thu 17-Sep-09 17:39:31

I think you are being a tinsy winsy bit unreasonable.

Greensleeves Thu 17-Sep-09 17:39:44

oooh, the agony of choise

the photos of emaciated concentration camp victims

the photos of terrified children in bombed streets

the graphic descriptions of weaponry and violent warfare

I object to the whole book for a 5yo!

purepurple Thu 17-Sep-09 17:39:46

I don't get it.
War is part of life and this would be an ideal oportunity to explain it to him in a basic way.

posieparker Thu 17-Sep-09 17:39:57

What isn't suitable? Does your ds only watch cbbc and beebies? No PG movies?

Morloth Thu 17-Sep-09 17:40:23

I wouldn't be unless there were pictures of actual violence happening or dead bodies.

Other than that we would be having a chat about wars and tanks and how people lose their homes etc.

My DS is also 5.

HigherThanAWombat Thu 17-Sep-09 17:40:49

YABU.It wouldn't bother me in the least.

diddl Thu 17-Sep-09 17:40:54

I agree that you might have shown some interest-if all you did was take it away, no wonder he´s crying at your reaction to his choice.

Greensleeves Thu 17-Sep-09 17:41:55

yes I bloody well do expect her to check the books the children choose

I wouldn't expect her to miss a bloody great hardback about war

am genuinely surprised tbh, I know I am often slightly out of kilter with the MN majority but I wasn't expecting everybody to say this was fine for a 5yo

bibbitybobbityhat Thu 17-Sep-09 17:42:03

On these trips at my dc's school the children choose their own books. The TAs and parent helpers might gently try to suggest other choices if they think the little one could make a better choice, but from what I have witnessed, it is just not possible to vet all the books chosen by 30 children whilst simultaneously getting all the books stamped, and the children back into coats, for the walk back to school.

LauraIngallsWilder Thu 17-Sep-09 17:42:06

Im with you Greensleeves

I agree that WW2 happened and my two do know a bit about it but no way do I want them to read or learn about it in any detail just yet

Morloth Thu 17-Sep-09 17:42:09

Sit with him Greensleeves and talk about the stuff in the book. Talk about what happens when some people get too much power and just how bloody stupid the human race can be.

posieparker Thu 17-Sep-09 17:42:39

You are seeing the book through the eyes of an adult. I would doubt his reading is up to the descriptions of warfare.

Are you original Greensleeves?

themoon66 Thu 17-Sep-09 17:42:44

YABU unless you think that 6 million jews did not die and there were no concentration camps hmm

Greensleeves Thu 17-Sep-09 17:43:19

it's the SCHOOL library, not the town library! she just walks them down the corridor and they choose a book

posieparker Thu 17-Sep-09 17:43:48

Perhaps you could select the bits that are okay... like the tanks.

Greensleeves Thu 17-Sep-09 17:44:33

themoon66 that is a ridiculous comment

Not wanting my just-5yo immersed in the horrors of the holocaust doesn't in any way suggest that I deny it ever happened hmm

gang rape really happens too, and I don't want him reading up on that either

brimfull Thu 17-Sep-09 17:44:34


you have made it a much bigger issue now haven't you?

not teachers fault but if you are concerned with contents of librabry books then you need to do as you have done and vet his books when he comes home with them as you have done

madsadlibrarian Thu 17-Sep-09 17:44:38

in my son's school, they have announced that this year there will be an AMAZING innovation - the books for "guided reading" will be graded according to ability and children will have to choose books from their ability level - (apparently "this has been tried in other schools and works really well" NSS).

So no more reading the very first lady bird book if you are in year 6 and guess what, infants will no longer be allowed to grapple with a volume of Encyclopedia Britianica

I don't think you are being unreasonable, but you do wonder what teacher training college some of these people went to - I think it should have been called "mis-guided reading" under the old regime.

I think it wouldn't be unreasonable to query how they guide the children's choice of reading. But maybe I'm just sore at having had our school admit it hadn't occured to them to choose reading books of an appropriate level until now!!

hocuspontas Thu 17-Sep-09 17:44:42

It's an odd book to have in a primary school library though.

Here the parent-helpers do the library book changing so the teachers wouldn't have a clue what the children are taking home!

LauraIngallsWilder Thu 17-Sep-09 17:44:51

<whispers to Greensleeves, you have always been one of my MN faveourites BECAUSE you arent the MN majority voice, keep it up I say>

Many 5yo would have terrible dreams if they knew the full reality of war, even if just picture of the holocaust etc - mine would

wilkos Thu 17-Sep-09 17:45:37

god i would be thrilled if i had a ds who chose a book like that!

hes clearly a bright little boy and you could take the opportunity to have a discussion with him about war in general. WW2 actually happened, its not a bloody story!

but instead you are going to go into the school, shout and holler and generally show yourself to be rather precious hmm

good luck to you

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