viernes, 30 de septiembre de 2016

MercatorNet: It took only six chapters for this book to earn a “thumbs down” [ONLY FOR THOUGHT - NEW SECTION OF LOST IDEAS] while adding value

MercatorNet: It took only six chapters for this book to earn a “thumbs down”

It took only six chapters for this book to earn a “thumbs down”

It took only six chapters for this book to earn a “thumbs down”

Disney-Hyperion's take on ancient mythology
Jennifer Minicus | Sep 30 2016 | comment 
House of Hadesby Rick Riordan
written for ages 9-12 | not recommended
published in 2015 | Disney-Hyperion | 720 pages

Both Tim Golden and Maryana Garcia have reviewed Rick Riordan’s books in the past for Reading Matters, so I did not feel the need to write a piece on this installment of Heroes of Olympus. Honestly, I have not read every one of his titles.
I get it – children love this kind of easy-to-read series: abundant action, snarky dialogue, more or less accurate references to Greek mythology that give the book an intellectual feel and enough sequels to make it worth the effort to invest emotionally in the characters because they’ll be around for a while. For me, however, they fall under the category of “If you’ve read one, you’ve read them all.”
That said, a friend recently contacted me about House of Hades. She mentioned that Riordan had introduced his first openly gay character and that parents might want to know about it. I decided to dive into Disney-Hyperion’s version of ancient myths once again.
I stopped after about six chapters.  It wasn’t the sexual references – I never got that far, though the reviews I saw online indicate that there is nothing graphic, just a “confession” of sorts by one of the protagonists. What got me was the bathroom humor. Every page oozed with it. Even an evil witch passed gas, which one would think would mitigate any fear she could evoke. Bad guys who cannot control their bodily functions just don’t seem scary. (Voldemort and Sauron never belch, do they?)
This may be an attempt at comic relief. Well, I can understand nine-year-old boys amused by this, but twelve-year old girls? Many mothers spend inordinate time correcting crass behavior. Why reinforce it with the books children read? It may be hard to steer avid readers from this popular series, but be prepared for questions about sexual orientation and an increased interest in flatulence.
A former teacher, Jennifer Minicus is currently a full-time wife and mother.


We have quite a feast of articles to end the week. A couple of highlights: In a very thoughtful article British ethicist David Jones looks back on the Paralympics and discusses an issue raised by Belgian medal-winner Marieke Vervoort with her support for euthanasia: does Belgium’s willingness to hasten death account, in part, for its rather muted support for Paralympians compared with Britain’s?
Also on end-of-life issues, Michael Cook highlights the beautiful testimony of a senior editor at The Washington Post on caring for her husband as he died of cancer: “It was the best seven months of my life,” says Tracy Grant. (Video and article link.)
Michael’s post earlier in the week on sabotage of a new Australian book by David van Gend on same-sex marriage has drawn so many fiery comments (259 at last count) that we have given the opponents of free speech another target: a review of Dr van Gend’s book by Campbell Markham
And for something completely different, try Mathew Otieno’s piece about Kenya’s indie computer games, feeding a market that is as insatiable as anywhere in the world, it seems. For all the Western hand-wringing about Africa, it often sounds very much like one’s own neighbourhood.

Carolyn Moynihan
Deputy Editor,

Euthanasia at the Paralympics: Does Belgium have a problem with disability?
By David Albert Jones
Marieke Vervoort's support of euthanasia sits ill with the Paralympic spirit.
Read the full article
An outstanding resource for the fight for marriage
By Campbell Markham
David van Gend's book has provoked outrage, but it is an eloquent defence of the weak and vulnerable
Read the full article
Africa’s budding indie gaming industry
By Mathew Otieno
A pioneering group of young Africans is taking African stories to the console.
Read the full article
Should rural communities just accept population decline?
By Marcus Roberts
Or should they try to embrace a "grey" population?
Read the full article
The Light Between the Oceans
By Laura Cotta Ramosino
A movie that faces pain and frustrated passion without shame.
Read the full article
Brock Turner and the roots of moral outrage
By Kevin E. Stuart
Dualism and Materialism can't answer our moral intuitions.
Read the full article
It took only six chapters for this book to earn a “thumbs down”
By Jennifer Minicus
Disney-Hyperion's take on ancient mythology
Read the full article
A wife’s love for her dying husband
By Michael Cook
An editor at the Washington Post explains how caring has made her a better person
Read the full article
Assisted suicide, up close and personal
By Michael Cook
A Washington state psychotherapist relates the chilling story of how her disabled client died.
Read the full article
Areopagitica Tasmania
By Campbell Markham
A classic defence of free speech is relevant to today's debate about hate speech
Read the full article

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