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Surprise! You Are What You Read

Woodleywonderworks, flickr

Hey parents, you’ll appreciate this one.  The other day my 11 year old daughter asked me if she could order “The Hunger Games” through her school book order.  My husband and I resounded with an emphatic “No!” much to her great dismay.  She couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t let her read that when ALL of her friends had read it.  Ha!  I’m not falling for that old line.  Now, I will admit that neither my husband nor I have read or seen the movie “The Hunger Games”, but we have heard plenty of adults we know say that it is disturbing.  The whole idea of kids killing each other is a subject I want to stay completely away from and I certainly don’t want my impressionable daughter anywhere near violent material like that.

Interestingly enough, I come across an article this morning about Researchers at Ohio State

Amazon.com

University who have found that when you identify with a literary character, like Katniss Everdeen of the “Hunger Games” books, there’s a good chance you’ll become more like that character. In other words, if you really liked Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” you might become more focused on ethical behavior. Likewise, if you read a book like “American Psycho”, about a likable and charismatic serial killer, you may try to understand or justify the actions he’s committing. The author of the study believes that the fiction-effect only comes with written works, not movies, because when we watch a movie we’re positioned as spectators, but a book allows your mind to create the images.  And remember folks, this is applicable not just for children, but for everyone.  My advice, be careful what you read and what your kids are reading.

 

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