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Ayn Rand is taught to 10 year olds

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I can't vouch for the content, but this looks interesting.

An Island Called Liberty

This book is a cross between Dr. Seuss and Ayn’s Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand would be proud of the message and Dr. Seuss would be proud of the beautiful illustrations and rhyming verse in this lively tale of free-markets versus excessive government regulation.

Hardcover, 27 beautifully illustrated pages! Follow the trials of bright Bridget Blodgett as she struggles to produce her widgets and wodgets in the face of increasing taxation! Find out what happens when the islanders and their businesses can no longer support the bureaucracy that has somehow grown from the best of intentions! This beautifully illustrated hard-bound book extols the virtues of free markets, and shows what can go wrong when government bureaucracy gets out of control! For free market advocates of all ages!

Content of text is suitable for children 10 and up, although younger children will enjoy the rhyming verse and colorful pictures on each page.

Older children and adults will love the intelligent message of freedom and the warning against excessive regulation.

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I can't vouch for the content, but this looks interesting.

An Island Called Liberty

It looks like libertarian propaganda to me: lots of economics and anti-government sentiments, but no stress on rationality or individualism.

Anthem is much better for 10-year olds.

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From the blurb for An Island Called Liberty:

Find out what happens when the islanders and their businesses can no longer support the bureaucracy that has somehow grown from the best of intentions! This beautifully illustrated hard-bound book extols the virtues of free markets, and shows what can go wrong when government bureaucracy gets out of control!

"Best of intentions"??? "Gets out of control"???

Adding to Betsy's doubts of this book's value for children, let me point out that one thing Ayn Rand did not put into Atlas Shrugged was any implication that her villians' ideology contained the "best of intentions" (and by implication was simply misguided) or that they were "out of control" (by implication simply incompetent)!!

This is a perversion of the novel's theme and philosophy. Such dropping of the moral and factual context in seeking to cash in on Atlas Shrugged's popularity indeed suggests the Libertarian mentality in action.

Perhaps the publisher has the "best of intentions" but is "out of control". :)

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From the blurb for An Island Called Liberty:

"Best of intentions"??? "Gets out of control"???

Adding to Betsy's doubts of this book's value for children, let me point out that one thing Ayn Rand did not put into Atlas Shrugged was any implication that her villians' ideology contained the "best of intentions" (and by implication was simply misguided) or that they were "out of control" (by implication simply incompetent)!!

The man in Roomette 7, Car No. 2, was a journalist who wrote that it is proper and moral to use compulsion "for a good cause," who believed that he had the right to unleash physical force upon others—to wreck lives, throttle ambitions, strangle desires, violate convictions, to imprison, to despoil, to murder—for the sake of whatever he chose to consider as his own idea of "a good cause," which did not even have to be an idea, since he had never defined what he regarded as the good, but had merely stated that he went by "a feeling"—a feeling unrestrained by any knowledge, since he considered emotion superior to knowledge and relied solely on his own "good intentions" and on the power of a gun.

This is a perversion of the novel's theme and philosophy. Such dropping of the moral and factual context in seeking to cash in on Atlas Shrugged's popularity indeed suggests the Libertarian mentality in action.

Perhaps the publisher has the "best of intentions" but is "out of control". :)

Perhaps, but jumping to such conclusions based upon a promo ad placed on the website seems to carry implicaiton a little to far. I'd rather wait to examine the book.

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This shows how Libertarians don't understand the hierarchy of knowledge. Ten year old kids need to learn low level concepts before they can tackle the high level political concepts described in this book. However, a 28 page illustrated book would be more like the 5-6 year old age bracket, an entirely inappropriate age for the message of the book. Libertarians assert the primacy of politics/economic in dealing with the world. For a little kid, this kind of stuff is a big floating abstraction.

It would be much better to simply illustrate how people produce values in their work. There is remarkably little children's literature/books about how the productive world works. And kids are very interested in learning how things work. There are a few illustrated kids books on farming, but for the most part, the adult world of work is a mystery to kids, and isn't taught at school. Just a little bit about doctors, nurses, police, and firemen. Virtually nothing about scientists, manufacturing work, transportation, etc. Thus, 10 year olds make paper posters for Earth Day telling everyone not to cut down trees, while they have no clue about the paper production business and process, which grew, harvested, and transformed trees into their poster paper.

I read Atlas Shrugged when I was nine, and at least recognized the basic idea that your mind was important and people should be productive. Before that, I remember learning something about the importance of work from the Little House on the Prairie series. A modern version of that would be good for younger kids. Speaking of which, can anyone recommend books like this, fiction or nonfiction? My daughter will be five soon, and would like more ideas for books to read to her. There is tons of material for kids showing them what life is like for various animals, but remarkably little to show them what rational productive life for humans is like. When I was a kid, industry groups occasionally sent out little films explaining steel, or telephones to schools, but I suspect that kind of pro-industrial "propaganda" has been banned by now in favor of Earth Day propaganda.

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This is a perversion of the novel's theme and philosophy. Such dropping of the moral and factual context in seeking to cash in on Atlas Shrugged's popularity indeed suggests the Libertarian mentality in action.

Perhaps the publisher has the "best of intentions" but is "out of control". ohmy.gif

Perhaps, but jumping to such conclusions based upon a promo ad placed on the website seems to carry implicaiton a little to far. I'd rather wait to examine the book.

Yes, which is why I singled out the publisher, since for all we know right now the travesty might be solely his office's doing in spite of the contents of the book. Though that seem quite a long shot.

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I read Atlas Shrugged when I was nine, and at least recognized the basic idea that your mind was important and people should be productive. Before that, I remember learning something about the importance of work from the Little House on the Prairie series. A modern version of that would be good for younger kids.

The Little House books are still wonderful. Little House in the Big Woods is about a girl Athena's age and I'll bet she'll love it. For a younger child I'd recommend Richard Scarry's "Busy" picture books and, for slightly older kids, the biographies of great people written for children before 1960 and the Horatio Alger, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Tom Swift books.

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It would be much better to simply illustrate how people produce values in their work. There is remarkably little children's literature/books about how the productive world works. And kids are very interested in learning how things work. There are a few illustrated kids books on farming, but for the most part, the adult world of work is a mystery to kids, and isn't taught at school. Just a little bit about doctors, nurses, police, and firemen. Virtually nothing about scientists, manufacturing work, transportation, etc.

I remember Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day? was a great introduction to the world of work (and, if you look carefully, trade and business).

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The 'Hardy Boys' was a great series, I think I read them all. Once in a while they got together with Nancy Drew. :)

Has anyone else read ‘The Way Things Work?’ It was very visual and developed my curiosity in engineering. I got it when I was six and I still like to flip through it.

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This is a perversion of the novel's theme and philosophy. Such dropping of the moral and factual context in seeking to cash in on Atlas Shrugged's popularity indeed suggests the Libertarian mentality in action.

Perhaps, but jumping to such conclusions based upon a promo ad placed on the website seems to carry implicaiton a little to far. I'd rather wait to examine the book.

Yes, which is why I singled out the publisher, since for all we know right now the travesty might be solely his office's doing in spite of the contents of the book. Though that seem quite a long shot.

I suspect Betsy's and your Libertarian-radar are working just fine. The author of the book is listed as a financial contributor by the Libertarian National Committee.

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I loved Richard Scarry's books when I was a kid. It should all sorts of people being productive!

I have Anthem on audio tape, and I play it in the car sometimes while driving my young daughters back from school. The 4 year old doesn't really get it (but she likes books on tape) but my 6 and 8 year old really enjoy it.

When the main character was talking about the forbidden word, my 8 year old exclaimed "I bet he is talkinga about 'I'!"

Some Objectivist friends that I have at a local Objectivist group I attend are working on putting a list together of pro Reason books that would be good to share with our children. One friend, that owns the Montessori school that my two younger kids attend suggests "The Girl Who owned A City".

Has anyone read that?

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------

I have Anthem on audio tape, and I play it in the car sometimes while driving my young daughters back from school. The 4 year old doesn't really get it (but she likes books on tape) but my 6 and 8 year old really enjoy it.

When the main character was talking about the forbidden word, my 8 year old exclaimed "I bet he is talkinga about 'I'!"

--------

It's funny how the mind works. An 8 year old can grasp that. 20+ years ago, after having been involved in Objectivism for a long time, my mother never showed any interest in reading anything. I gave her Anthem to read and she actually started to read it. She said she thought it was about 2 homosexuals!!! HAHA. I couldn't contain myself.

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The Little House books are still wonderful. Little House in the Big Woods is about a girl Athena's age and I'll bet she'll love it. For a younger child I'd recommend Richard Scarry's "Busy" picture books and, for slightly older kids, the biographies of great people written for children before 1960 and the Horatio Alger, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Tom Swift books.

Thanks Betsy, the Richard Scarry books are indeed just the sort of thing I have in mind, but unfortunately I already have those. I'm looking for the next step beyond the Richard Scarry level.

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Some Objectivist friends that I have at a local Objectivist group I attend are working on putting a list together of pro Reason books that would be good to share with our children. One friend, that owns the Montessori school that my two younger kids attend suggests "The Girl Who owned A City". Has anyone read that?

My son read the book when he was 11 and loved it. He was at that age when "girls are all silly and squeamish." He was very impressed with the heroine's strength and resourcefulness and it improved his view of girls "as they can be and ought to be." Perhaps the book can be recommended for that reason as well.

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My son read the book when he was 11 and loved it. He was at that age when "girls are all silly and squeamish." He was very impressed with the heroine's strength and resourcefulness and it improved his view of girls "as they can be and ought to be." Perhaps the book can be recommended for that reason as well.

I wish there were more books for kids that empahised reason. I wish I had the skills and creativity to write them. I always wanted to be a writer, but lack the talent.

Anyone read the Great Brain series? I loved those when I was a kid, because the kids were very smart, BUT the one the main charachter wrote about was always scheming. The brilliant thing was he didn't get away with taking advantage of others, so there was a lot of justice in those books as well. I am on a quest to find used copies of these books at my Half Price book stores in the area.

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Anyone read the Great Brain series? I loved those when I was a kid, because the kids were very smart, BUT the one the main charachter wrote about was always scheming. The brilliant thing was he didn't get away with taking advantage of others, so there was a lot of justice in those books as well. I am on a quest to find used copies of these books at my Half Price book stores in the area.

eBay's the place for great old children's books. They have HUNDREDS of "Great Brain" books for just a few dollars each. (click here)

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Some Objectivist friends that I have at a local Objectivist group I attend are working on putting a list together of pro Reason books that would be good to share with our children. One friend, that owns the Montessori school that my two younger kids attend suggests "The Girl Who owned A City".

That's available on eBay too -- from $1.13! (click here)

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[...] When I was a kid, industry groups occasionally sent out little films explaining steel, or telephones to schools...

I realize that you have a little girl, and that this is a video rather than a book -- but if your daughter is ever interested in things that boys are supposed to be interested in, she may like this DVD set aimed at boys, called:

Boys Love Big Machines. I purchased this set new at Half Price Books for $10 to give to the young son (three and a half) of a friend. He had already exhibited great interest in the machines used in the construction of a major highway that he'd see when they went walking. I think the target audience is 4-8 years.

And though I don't know anything about this one, it looks similar:

Real Wheels - Truck Adventures

The focus seems to be how work gets done using various vehicles.

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I very much enjoyed Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham, which I recommended here. I don't know if I could specify an exact age, as I'm not around children much, but I suspect most 10 year olds wouldn't have any trouble reading it.

I also thought that Calumet "K" was a brilliant story (not really a novel). Though it's not exactly a kids story, I don't see why any early teen would have trouble with it. I think it would be a good pre-Rand read.

I too loved The Hardy Boys and I think it taught an invaluable lesson in being adventurous, a characteristic that is fast becoming extinct. Personally, I think that teaching children to be adventurous is highly, highly important because it leads into being passionate. When children learn to cherish the difficult, well-fought, hard-earned battles, it makes them want to do something exciting and important. It's the same adventurous spirit that causes one to start his own company, climb a mountain, or spend hours laboring over a new invention. It's kind of like- there are easier ways to make money than inventing a new metal, but are there any that would have been as much fun for Hank Rearden? There are easier ways than building an elevator up a cliff to go cliff diving, but would any have been more fun for Francisco and Dagny?

Sorry if I went off on a tangent, I've been thinking about this for a while. For children, I think instilling an adventurous spirit is almost as important as teaching them to be rational.

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I too loved The Hardy Boys and I think it taught an invaluable lesson in being adventurous, a characteristic that is fast becoming extinct. Personally, I think that teaching children to be adventurous is highly, highly important because it leads into being passionate. When children learn to cherish the difficult, well-fought, hard-earned battles, it makes them want to do something exciting and important. It's the same adventurous spirit that causes one to start his own company, climb a mountain, or spend hours laboring over a new invention. It's kind of like- there are easier ways to make money than inventing a new metal, but are there any that would have been as much fun for Hank Rearden? There are easier ways than building an elevator up a cliff to go cliff diving, but would any have been more fun for Francisco and Dagny?

Sorry if I went off on a tangent, I've been thinking about this for a while. For children, I think instilling an adventurous spirit is almost as important as teaching them to be rational.

Yes, and best of all is to illustrate how an adventurous spirit combined with reason leads to success. Kid mysteries can combine both. Thinking back, I also recall reading kid history books about Ben Franklin, Lewis and Clark, George Washington, Thomas Edison, and feeling inspired. I also remember reading about the accomplishments of the young Francisco and thinking "that's how I'd like to be when I grow up."

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Since we're on the subject of adventure stories for kids, the books that I've been raised up on were the great 19th century classics, the Jules Verne, the Arthur Conan Doyle, the H. Rider Haggard, the Rudyard Kipling, Dumas, etc. I have soaked them up in droves, read them for hours, and nigh exhausted the regional library by the time I was 10. Hard to go wrong for a young boy in search for values, when dealing with these.

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I just read a charming short story today, in a textbook while babysitting an 8th grade reading class as a substitute teacher. It's called Golden Glass, by Alma Luz Villaneuva. A wonderful little tale of individual ability and identity. Do read it if you can find it, and share it with a child you care about.

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It looks like libertarian propaganda to me: lots of economics and anti-government sentiments, but no stress on rationality or individualism.

Anthem is much better for 10-year olds.

I took a chance and bought this book for my kids about a year ago. Betsy was right on the money. Don't bother with it.

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Before that, I remember learning something about the importance of work from the Little House on the Prairie series. A modern version of that would be good for younger kids. Speaking of which, can anyone recommend books like this, fiction or nonfiction? My daughter will be five soon, and would like more ideas for books to read to her. There is tons of material for kids showing them what life is like for various animals, but remarkably little to show them what rational productive life for humans is like.

Generally you'd be likely to find such books if they were published in the 19th or early 20th century. You can actually find some very good deals from ex-library books at library book sales - libraries often clear their shelves of that "old junk" to make room for the shiny new stuff (have to keep up to date on environmentalism of course.) The prices are often $1-2 per hardcover book.

Also I fondly recall reading some biographies of famous businessmen and inventors as a kid, such as J.C. Penney, Thomas Edison, etc. There is less room for propagandizing in a factual biography, and bios of decent or heroic men are often exciting and instructive reading even though they're "naturalistic" by nature.

Another source might be the bibliography provided in the book Marva Collins' Way (which itself is a must read for anyone interested in education, particularly highlighting the stark contrast between public and private education.)

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For children who can read novels for themselves I reccomend Martin the Warrior. It is a part of a much larger series [18 novels and counting] by Brian Jacques and is, in my opinion, the best. It's about a young mouse who is brave, independent, and has integrity who gathers an army and leads the charge against the tyrant who tried to enslave him and many others. The novel can be emotional and graphic at times [there's a torture scene and more than a few tragic deaths].

I read it at age 11 or so and was deeply impressed at having discovered good literature with heroism and drama for the first time [after I had Sweet Valley High and it's ilk continually shoved down my throat].

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