Sarah over at the Reading Zone has published a scathing rant about schools, summer reading lists, and the fact that they haven't changed in decades. (The schools or the lists.)
Amen! I love Maniac Magee, but for God's sake, school, it's been on your list for the past ten years. Switch it out! Get a little crazy! Do a little dance!
And pack away the tissues. It's summer. Not every book has to deal with Deep Themes like Death and War and the unbearable woe of existence. You'd be surprised how many humorous novels also have Deep Themes.
To all this, I'd like to add, "Schools, when you put at the bottom of the paper, 'Check the public library for these titles,' how about a leeetle heads-up to that self-same public library? Just a teeny one?" I'm reduced to snatching the lists from bewildered seventh-graders' hands, dashing away to make a quick copy, and giving my library supplier a call begging them to rush me several copies of each title, because my itty-bitty library is responsible for basically an entire school district.
Thanks to a number of bloggers for the link.