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Posted July 6, 2012
Offensive for certain demographics… I will be posting th
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I will be posting this review on various websites so that the message can get out there.
I am an elementary school librarian in the Los Angeles area and I have to say that I really had very high hopes for “The Family Hitchcock.” I was excited and fairly certain that this would be a good addition to my collection... a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan myself, I figured ‘what a fabulous way to introduce the young ones in our school to the classic style, mystery, twists and fun that personify this director’s artistic style.’ Unfortunately, this is definitely not the case with this book.
The story begins by following the trend of portraying this Hitchcock family as the typical “modern family” that we have been berated with for basically the last 20 years, and that I am now personally sick of. So if you happen to be someone interested in reading something with originality, don’t bother. Basically- a messy dysfunctional family with teenagers embark on a family trip that, very obviously from the beginning of the story, will bring them all closer together. Ta-da! How Hollywood… shouldn’t be a surprise when you look at who wrote the story though.
However, the determining factor for me about this book was a line that actually is very offensive to those who happen to be vegetarians. It all starts when the father in the story informs them that they will be doing a house swap with another family instead of staying in a hotel. The daughter expresses her concern in a bratty teenage rant about how this other father, her dad has made arrangements with, might be untrustworthy or “a serial-rapist-vegetarian-robber-murderer.” (page 17) After reading this line I was completely floored at how vegetarians, traditionally non-violent animal lovers, could be included with the likes of such violent criminal types. So I figured it was a pathetic attempt at humor until several pages later, the mother of the story (who is typecast as the all-seeing one while the dad is portrayed as an oblivious optimist) then shares her concern by saying “I don’t want strangers we met on the internet who might be serial-rapist-vegetarian-robber- murderers looking at all of our photos.” (page 31)
The tone in both cases was more serious and argumentative, so I’m guessing that these authors have a bone to pick with those “terrible degenerates” who do not happen to share their passion for eating meat. However, I happen to have a high demographic of Asian children/ teachers within my school population and several happen to not eat meat. Whoever you are planning to share this book with (carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, etc.) I believe in teaching children, especially at the intended age group for this book, that we must respect everyone whatever their beliefs happen to be. In a time where so much publicity has been paid towards “anti-bullying” in our youth, let’s not target vegetarians or label them as freaks for the punch line of a joke.