My children's English teachers both use the prospect of "silent reading" to badger their classes into behaving. As in, "If you don't settle down, we'll just have silent reading," and then everyone shuts up and behaves. Which means, I guess, that this prospect is so horrific to most kids that they will do anything in order to avoid it. I find this dispiriting.
Chestnut's in-school "book group" is reading The Catcher in the Rye, which she told me: "It's bad. I mean, he talks about prostitutes and killing himself." Huh.
The two books spread open on the bathroom floor?
Yeah, Howard Zinn and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. I don't understand it either. Maybe file it under "it's hard to grow up."