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As a former English teacher, I know the curriculum is often death and 
depression--but frankly, serious writers usually write about serious issues.  The 
parents who are complaining probably studied the same kinds of serious works in 
their youth. I don't remember anything even slightly humorous from my college or 
high school days.  Often any humor in the English curriculum comes from short 
stories or works with irony.  Most English teachers at the high school level feel 
that a work that the whole class reads needs to be of sufficient import and 
challenge to be worthy of spending lots of class time on in a close reading.  YA is 
wonderful and works great in literature circles and independent reading as most of 
these books can be read by most high school students without the necessity of 
guided reading by the teacher.  But lots of YA is problem oriented and depressing, 
too.  I noted that the list of YA that  was suggested contained some pretty serious 
stuff--for instance His Dark Materials.  We are talking killing God here--not light 
stuff--but certainly a book that could benefit from lots of class discussion, but 
might be highly objectionable to many parents as a whole class selection.

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