Tag Archive: reading


Everyone should have this book in a prominent place on their bookshelf and read it regularly to themselves and their kids if they have any.
Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr Suess

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on y our way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

*** The above text was copyrighted in 1990 .

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I am going to interrupt my currently unfinished Turkey posts to write about banned books (which, incidentaly, I can relate to Turkey).  Banned Book week, starting October 2 in the US begs the question…what will you be reading?

When I was a kid I had free reign on my book collection. I am pretty sure my parents didn’t moniter terribly closely what I was reading. That being said, they didn’t need to. I would read a new book and tell them about it or talk to them about things in the book. They trusted me enough to not read anything I shouldn’t (and I didn’t). They also trusted me enough to make up my own mind on the books I read and decide for myself whether or not they were worth reading (shock horror!).

Banned Books Week isn’t trying to bring awareness to the blatant censorship in countries such as Cuba and China or North Korea. It’s about censorship in the good ol’ US of A. I did a thesis at MSU-Billings on censorship of textbooks in public schools and briefly touched on censorship of regular books as well and frankly, it was quite shocking the list of censored books and the amount of control that one family has over textbooks in the US.

Many classic books which I think should be required high school reading are frequently challenged and sometimes banned from all sides of the spectrum for various reasons. I am not saying that all book challenges come from super conservative, religious right nutters. While a majority of the challenges down south may come from that side of the spectrum, there are also a significant number of challenges from a the extreme left wing liberals.

The conservatives normally object to books because they are blasphemous, contain violence, adult language, sexual references or depict scenes contrary to Biblical teachings. I own a children’s book that was one of my favourite books called “Love You Forever” that was actually banned because it showed a child not listening to his parents and said he used bad words in front of his grandmother. This is central to the story however as the book is about how a mother will always love her child no matter what and her child will always love her no matter what. I believe the overarching theme behind the book negates the fact that a child was misbehaving.

The liberals normally object to books that contain sexism, racism or other forms of discrimination or ‘political incorrectness’. Books such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee come to mind. This book was challenged from all sides, but a significant number of the challenges were race-related. Depicting blacks as a lower class (admittedly there was a lower class white trash family in it), a distinct lack of civil rights and the blatant racism all contributed to the challenges against the book. But lets ignore the fact that it had a strong message that you shouldn’t be racist, you shouldn’t teach your kids racism, you should stand up for what is right and not what the majority thinks. It’s also history. It may be a fictional story, but the fact of the matter is that it used to be like that in certain parts of the US. This is part of America’s history and it shouldn’t be denied. It should not be swept under the rug. It should be used to help shape a better future.

Australia is a prime example of sweeping history with Aboriginals under the rug. The stolen generation is a rather embarrasing point in Australia’s history, surpassing even that of the ‘White Australia’ policy to stop immigrants coming in (which funnily enough included Caucasions). It wasn’t until quite recently, years after Aboriginals were recognised as both human and citizens under the Constitution, that they even started teaching anything about Aboriginal history or culture in schools, and even still it is apparently only touched on.

Books are challenged because they frighten people, because they challenge the status quo, because they are ‘politically incorrect’ or because they are against certain people’s ideals and beliefs. This is no reason to ban any book. Kids are usually more aware than the older generations give them credit for and are perfectly capable of reading a book like Catcher in the Rye without wanting to go out and drink, smoke, swear and hire a prostitute. A well-written and timeless book is meant to challenge you. It’s meant to make you think outside your box and it’s something you should learn from. By all means, read Jodi Picoult or Stephen King and get your kicks from these novel mills that really have no significant way of challenging your mind. I love reading books like that when all I want to do is kick back and relax after a day of having my brain fried at uni. But try to read a book that will challenge you. A book that you may not necessarily agree with or a book that could change your opinion on something, or at least get you to consider your position.

So the question remains. What will you be reading during Banned Books Week?

xoxo Aryn