Yesterday Sam told me he'd confronted his English teacher about the reading choices.
"Mom, the opportunity just presented itself," He said. "She asked what we liked and didn't like about the book. I said I like the quality of the pages - they're nice and sturdy - and that it was a fairly quick read, but that I didn't like the book itself because it was depressing. And that, since fifth grade, pretty much all the books we had been assigned to read were depressing and were making me not want to read anymore."
"What did she say?" I asked.
"She said my next read could be a free read - my choice," he answered. Then he added, "Although she did say there would be at least two more depressing books we'd have to read this year. And of course I have to finish this one first. By the way, all the other kids agreed with me when I spoke up. They all said, 'Yeah, me too!'"
Well! It's a start. It's one thing to hear this from parents - the best that seems to have done is generate some minor sympathy and the suggestion that we are over protective and babying our son. But to hear it from the kids themselves... I have to hope that if you're an educator for the right reason - that you care about kids - this may resonate somewhere. Most of all I'm proud of Sam for speaking up - and thrilled that his efforts were rewarded by a "free read."
Wonder what he'll choose?