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Traumafessions :: Reader Jenn S. on Required Readings

August 8th, 2009 by aunt john · 8 Comments

I LOVE this site! I have already found a couple of things I forgot about, and a couple others I never knew the name of.

I have to admit though; some of the things that traumatized me most as a kid were books. Not even “scary” books. These were books that we were supposed to read for book reports and such with those little silver seals on them indicating they were depressing enough to scar us for life or something. Mind you, this was grade school.

I think the most depressing ones I read for school were:

  • MY BROTHER SAM IS DEAD
  • THE ONE-EYED CAT
  • CHILDREN OF THE DUST
  • WATERSHIP DOWN
  • And some book about an autistic kid who gets killed by a swan (I’m still afraid of swans and geese to this day)

(AUNT JOHN SEZ: Was that SUMMER OF THE SWANS?)

Seriously, why these were all on the required reading list for 3rd graders? I mean, granted, my dad was slightly sadistic, so I was reading some Kafka as a kid, but not until 5th grade.

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Tags: Traumafessions




8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 BlackwingroseNo Gravatar // Aug 10, 2009 at 4:19 am

    Never has a traumafession spoke to me as this one. I swear my sophmore reading list was designed to drive already angsty teens to suicide:  All is Quiet on the Western Front and 1984…back to back.
    Still 8th grade provided the book I remember most, called “A Day No Pigs Would Die.”  The book is basically about a poor farm boy who has a pet pig and his dad finally says they have to eat the pig if she doesn’t have piglets. After a very graphic pig rape scene (not kidding here), the pig is proven infertile and the end of the book talks about the fact that the boy is gonna spend all winter eating his beloved pet.
    And I thought “Where the Red Fern Grows” was bad. 🙂

  • 2 ApocalypsejunkieNo Gravatar // Aug 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I call that piggy snuff and Where the Red Fern Grows, doggie snuff (along with Ol Yeller). Not only did we have to read WTRG, we had to watch the movie en masse’ in grade school. What was it with the 70’s school system? I swear it’s like educators of the time felt it was their rightous(!) duty to expose us to the most traumatic literature they could find. Like we weren’t going to figure that out (or already knew from the house of horrors called home life) soon enough for ourselves?

  • 3 BlackwingroseNo Gravatar // Aug 12, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Turns out A Day No Pigs Would Die had a sequel. And if that book was piggy snuff, then the sequel is Barnyard Armageddon:
    http://www.shvoong.com/books/youth-novel/363-sky/
     

  • 4 ApocalypsejunkieNo Gravatar // Aug 13, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Christ on a crutch! Somebody give that author some Prozac already.

    Barnyard Armageddon, LOL! :-)>

  • 5 Mariam67No Gravatar // Aug 16, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    I don’t think that book was Summer of the Swans. The kid in the book didn’t get killed. I can’t imagine what it could have been. I’ve read my share of traumatizing books too. Like ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ or any book where a kid dies. Also, this wasn’t my youth, but a couple of years ago I read a teen book called ‘Life as we knew it’ about a family that fights to survive after the moon gets knocked out of orbit closer to the earth, throwing the planet into turmoil. I swear, it totally freaked me out about the moon, I was watching it for the next week every time I was outside.

  • 6 ApocalypsejunkieNo Gravatar // Aug 17, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Didn’t they turn Life As We Knew It into a television show a couple of years back? Or the show had a similar premise about something knocking the snot out of the moon and the chunks could hurtle to the Earth at any time? It was one I wanted to watch but pesky employment schedule wouldn’t accomodate. Oh well, it got cancelled anyways 🙁

  • 7 Mariam67No Gravatar // Aug 18, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Apocalypsejunkie- I never heard about that. I’ll have to look it up. It was a good book in spite of freaking me out. There was a sequel, but it wasn’t as good. It was more depressing than scary.

  • 8 jellokattNo Gravatar // Jul 5, 2010 at 12:52 am

    hmmm….  i don’t know if it was summer of the swans.  it seems familiar, but i don’t think the kids were living with an aunt.
     
    i’m really glad i never had to read “a day no pigs would die” though.  that one sounds absolutely horrific.

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