When the nice folks at The Parent Blogger Network asked me to review the new book, titled "Kids Are Americans Too", by Bill O'Reilly and Charles Flowers, I thought that perhaps they had fallen down and hit their heads on something really hard. I mean, come on... anyone who reads my blog has to know that I'm not fan of O'Reilly, although I give him made props for diggin' the Isely Brothers. I asked if they we sure, because I would gladly read his book and then give my usual no-soft-soap analysis... I'd be fair, I promised... but not necessarily nice.
I read the book.
Here we go.
This book was published by the fine folks at HarperCollins, the same folks that published the book that I reviewed last week, and retails for $24.95
Let me start by saying that there is no real evil in this book, so, if your teenager reads it, he or she would not likely harmed by it. There is no hateful or vulgar language in this book (although the word "slut" does appear once, but appropriately in context). So if you, like me, think that Bill O'Reilly is, at worst, evil, or at best a smarmy shill of a right-wing pundit, you can at least be assured that he isn't going to be brainwashing your kids with this book.
Let's get down (with our bad selves) to it, shall we?
The aim of this book is to have a dialogue on rights... the rights of teenagers.
So far, so good.
The target audience is supposed to be teenagers but, it seems to me that it was written for 6th grade students. Worse, there is nothing in that book that most kids wouldn't get from American History and/or Civics (American Government) classes at school. While I realize that not everyone gets the same education in this country, I think that for the most part, basic structure government is set up is covered... starting in elementary school.
I found this book to be trite. O'Reilly & Flowers sound very even, and sometimes sensible throughout the book, even though they don't miss two opportunities to Rag on 50 Cent or Ludacris, or to label the American Civil Liberties Union as "extremists"
I have to tell you that I think that anyone who spends $24.95 on a hardback book with 129 pages of poor writing, pictures and lots of visually irritating clutter, is out of their minds. I wouldn't buy this book for anyone, not even some of my right-wing, crackpot, co-workers.
A complete waste of time and money.
This review was sponsored by your friends and mine at the Parent Blogger Network and by HarperCollins Publishing.
No Conservatives were harmed (intentionally) in the production of this review.