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Dear LM NETters:

I have been posting and lurking on LM NET for about a year as a graduate
student. I am now getting ready for my first position as a LMS in a K-5
school. I am taking advantage of summer days by reading all those children's
books I always meant to get to but never did.  I recently read The Boggart
by Susan Cooper and enjoyed it immensely. I would love to recommend it to
students.  My question:  near the end of the book Maggie, the mother, loses
her temper with the kids and then apologizes saying she did not mean to act
like (to use Webster's definition) "a female canine animal."   I have at
times used the word in the book myself but not in the presence of 10 year
olds.  Other than this one word, I think the book would be a great
read-aloud.  Although I know many children have heard the word on TV and
maybe on the bus, I would have a problem saying this aloud to fourth or
fifth graders.  Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? What do others do
in this situation?  I'm not advocating keeping the book away from children,
just what to do when a spoken word might be offensive.

Christine Ciofolo

Soon-to-be LMS K-5

Westchester, NY

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