Thursday, January 12, 2006

Red Flag: Q is for Quark

I so wanted to recommend this title to you all. I so wanted to love it. After all, I loved its predecessor, G is for Googol. But, it wasn't meant to be. As hard as I tried, I can't love it and I can't recommend it.

The idea behind Q is for Quark is great. An ABC book for middle school kids that is both inviting and informative.

However, as I read through the book I began to find something here and then something there that I would have to contradict and explain to my children why we, as Catholics don't agree with the author.

For example: C is for Clone. The author mentions that there is a controversy, but doesn't properly explain the deep moral reasons behind the controversy. In his own words:

A worldwide debate continues to rage over whether or not cloning is a good thing. Lots of people worry that cloning humans is next, which they view as morally wrong. Who would get to decide which people could be cloned? What would stop a very rich person from making many clones of himself or herself?

On the other side of the debate, some people think cloning humans would be great. Through cloning, you could achieve a sort of "immortality" as a young "you" started all over! And even if we didn't clone whole people, we could clone organs and tissues from the same people who need them for transplants.

No mention of the human embryos whose lives would be terminated in order to retrieve those organs.

There were some other little things that bothered me regarding sperm, evolution, Darwin, AIDS. At first, I thought that these little things could be glossed over and would provide me with the opportunity to talk about our beliefs versus the beliefs held by secularists. However, in the end it was just too much.

What a shame that I can't just hand this to a child and say, "go enjoy this."


Ana Braga-Henebry said...

We were equally hopeful upon our acquisition of Q is for Quark because we loved G is for Googol , only to be similarly disappointed. My immediate negative impression, however, was from an artistic point of view: while the first was illustrated by the well-known Marissa Moss (of the Amelia books and many others) and depicted creative, attractive cartoonish drawings, the second lacked all of the above. That was the other reason I couldn't just hand it to a child and say "Go enjoy this", to quote Whitman.

Maureen Wittmann said...

Yes, I noticed that too. Why is that? So disappointing!