The Big Box
To make three youngsters - Patty, Mickey and Liza Sue - abide by their rules, the grown-ups - parents, teachers and other adults - create a world inside a box, a world with toys, games, treats and gifts. But all Patty, Mickey and Liza Sue really want is the freedom to be themselves.
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In this first story for children by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, parents, teachers, and other adults determine the boundaries of personal freedom for Patty and Mickey and Liza Sue, three feisty kids "who just can't handle their freedom." To make these youngsters abide by their rules, the grown-ups create a world inside a box, a world with toys and games, and treats and gifts, and all kinds of stuff they think kids need to be happy and carefree - everything from a picture of the sky to jelly beans and brand-new jeans. But all Patty and Mickey and Liza Sue really want is the freedom to be themselves. And, they ask, why can't adults grant them this freedom?
This book is disturbing on many levels. It reeks of anger and resentment without demonstrating a healthy way to resolve those feelings. It belittles the seriousness of childhood behavior disorders by turning them into simple annoyances for adults - and then shows the adults putting the children away because of the annoyance. For children who are struggling with true neurologically based behavior disorders - such as ADD or ADHD - this is not the message that should be conveyed. Hopefully, this isn't what Toni Morrison intended for her message to be. In any case, this book is really targeted more at an adult audience, and that is where it should stay.
Review: The Big BoxUser Review - Beth - Goodreads
An allegory about how adults replace spending quality time with children by giving them Things. The adults then become reactionary and imprison them in a room full of more Things when all the children ... Read full review