Thursday, January 21, 2016

Muggie Maggie

Written by: Beverly Cleary

First line: After her first day in the third grade, Maggie Schultz jumped off the school bus when it stopped at her corner. 

Why you should read this book: It’s a sly little piece about a girl who, in the style of Bartleby the Scrivener, decides that she would prefer not to learn cursive. This being a children’s book, of course the adults in her life eventually use their own wiles to convince her to change her own mind. A short chapter book, perfect for reluctant readers.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: Maggie’s main argument again learning cursive is that it’s pointless because she can type on the computer instead, so her story exists in a very narrow window of time (the very early ‘80s) and comes off as incredibly dated; of course, today children are not taught cursive, in favor of using the computer. In fact, Maggie is right, and all the adults are wrong, but it took 40 years to vindicate her. If only we could all go back in time and throw our cell phones at the 4th grade teachers who insisted that we had to learn our times tables because we weren’t going to all walk around with calculators in our pockets as adults.  

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