why I won’t let my kids read Jigsaw Jones Mystery books
Someone gave my son the book, “The Case of the Kidnapped Candy,” which is just one book in the Jigsaw Jones Mystery books written for lower elementary school aged kids.
I decided to read it first. It looked like twaddle, but I wanted to make sure it was harmless twaddle before letting my son read it.
The first thing I didn’t like about it was the use of the word, “Yeesh,” throughout the book by the main character. This was just part of a slightly bad attitude that showed towards his teacher. After the teacher reads a couple love poems, the main character thinks, “Give me a break, I mean who talks like that anyway? Yeesh.”
I want to instill a love and respect for Shakespearean literature in my children. This book is counterproductive to that end.
Further, the teacher instructed the class to write their own love poems. The character thought, “Me? Write a mushy, gushy love poem? Oh brother.” I want my children to do what their teacher says and I want them to do it cheerfully with a good attitude.
The last reason I don’t want my son reading this book is because everyone lies and there are no consequences for this sin. The story line is that the teacher has a gumball machine filled with chocolates. When the gumball machine is unveiled, all the chocolate is gone. Somebody took the chocolate. The main character plays detective to find out who the thief might be. Everyone said that they didn’t take the chocolate, but as the story progresses, it becomes evident that though no one took all the chocolate, it seems that almost everyone took one or two pieces of chocolate. When this was revealed in the classroom, the teacher was “happy that we didn’t have a thief in Room 201. She said we had all learned our lesson.” Then she rewarded the class with more chocolate.
Um. What lesson did the kids learn, Ms. Teacher? The lesson the book teaches is that it’s OK to take a couple pieces of chocolate and then it’s OK to lie about taking the chocolate. It would have been wrong to take all the chocolate, but no one took all the chocolate. Apparently having a roomful of thieves and fibbers is OK. But having one thief who took it all would not have been OK.
This is only one of the books in the series. I have no idea if all the books have similar defects, but I’m not going to spend my time finding out. Instead, we’re working our way through this 1000 good books list compiled by 10 mothers, and we are reading the literature and history selections in our Tapestry of Grace curriculum.
Read the value of a book and jigsaw jones revisited written in response to a comment.
Also read jigsaw jones, the third and final installment, written by my husband in response to another comment.