Following right on the heels of my post this morning about things kids should and should not post online, let me add another item to the list: revealing that you have not read a book you are supposed to have read for school and are seeking "a complete review" of the book from Yahoo Answers users, including "everything important" about the story. There are lots of reasons why this is a bad idea. For starters, your teacher could find out. Or a future employer who uses this info to assess your overall character. Or, if you're a very unlucky teen from the U.K., you could get called out by the author of the book, drawing far more attention to your query than you could have ever imagined.
According to a story posted on "Good Morning America" this morning, a high-school student posted a query to Yahoo Answers, asking users for a complete review of the book "The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To," by DC Pierson. The student mentioned a number of reasons why she couldn't possibly finish the book before school started up in 11 days. She only got the required reading list one month ago. Her library was being remodeled. She is not a fast reader. She is busy.
The excuses sound lame, particularly to Pierson, the author of the book, who called out the student on her query.
"First off, I'm really excited that my book is being suggested for summer reading. On the other hand, I'm bummed out that you don't want to try and finish it, and not even because you think it's bad, but just because it seems like work instead of like fun," Pierson wrote, adding "I think you'll find there's a ton more sex, swearing and drugs in my book than anything else you have been or will be assigned in high school."
Instead of offering up the answers, Pierson encouraged her to give the book a try, adding that he recently read the entire 240-page book aloud for the book's audio version and completed the reading in under 10 hours. He also posted the entire exchange on his Tumblr blog.
So far, the student hasn't responded to Pierson on the thread. Who knows, maybe she's off reading the book. I know that I certainly will now.
Related book story on MNN: New kids' books lack connection to nature, study finds