Critique "What Good Books Do for Children"

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Arthur Schlesinger, author of many authoritative histories, writes “What Good Books Do For Children.” In the article, he explains how television has replaced the books in the life of the young, and how his generation may have been the last to grow up in a print culture. Schlesinger also believes that most people have read all they are going to read by the age of twenty-five. He believes with a passion that children should read books that face reality rather than fantasy. The author makes a decent argument as to why classic fairytales are better for children than modern tales; however, he misses a few details that may have helped his argument.

Schlesinger says that children should read or have books read to them about how life is harsh and to have them read conflict knowing that human nature may not always have good intentions. The question is “When should a child begin reading these types of tales?”. Certainly not a two-four year old. This is a question that Schlesinger has failed to answer. They are too young to understand what they are comprehending, and it’s a safe bet that they don’t know how to read at this age. He should have said when he thinks childhood begins, like how he says when childhood ends, which he says to be around fourteen. Two year olds should not be hearing about birds peck out the eyes of evil stepsisters or having their big toe and heel cut off. That is just too violent for the hearts of precious small two year olds. His mother read him those classic fairytales. Schlesinger never once says how old he was when she started reading them to him. I think this would have to be something to include in the article.

Schlesinger believes that childhood is finite, meaning childhood has an end. It cannot last forever because soon children have to grow up and become adults. He compares how childhood is finite and so is the number of books one can read. No one can possibly read all of the books ever made in a lifetime. There a millions and...
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