Light of My Life, Miss Amber

I got a call from my daughter the other day.  She’d just left a meeting with Amber’s 4th grade teacher.  It seems that Amber, who’s in an advanced reading class, was assigned a book and refused to read it.  The book, entitled “Crossing the Wire” by Will Hobbs is about a 15-year-old Mexican boy who attempts to cross the border illegally to find work in the U.S. to help support his family.  The reasons Amber gave her teacher for not wanting to read the book is that it “supports illegal aliens coming into our country, which is against the law and probably unconstitutional.”  This very logical protest came from the mouth and mind of my 9-year-old granddaughter.

Although you may or may not agree with her argument, I was very proud that she stood up for what she believed.  The teacher, apparently, didn’t see it that way.  She told Amber that she could either read the book or transfer to a regular reading class where, both Amber and the teacher knew, she would be bored out of her mind.  Amber agreed to think about it.  Which she did for a day… and then proceeded to circulated a petition around the school supporting her wish to pass on the book and read something else instead.  And, even though she got lots and lots of signatures, it didn’t sway her teacher.  It did, however, initiate a phone call to Dana.

The meeting, which started out with Dana and her husband Allen being extremely pissed off and in full Amber-defense mode, actually ended very well.  The teacher calmly explained that the book garnered diverse responses from the kids, which generated lively debate and created learning moments.  Dana and Allen settled down, and Amber, after being told how the story ended and then sworn to secrecy, agreed to read the book.

I asked Amber her opinion of the book when the family got together for her brother Jack’s seventh birthday a couple of weeks later.

“Well, Nana,” she said.  “It was pretty good, but now I think I want to be a lawyer.”

“And why is that?” I asked.

“Because that way I can help people come here legally by getting them a vegan card.”

“Vegan card?  What’s that, honey?” Bill asked.

“It’s a green colored card that tells the border patrol that it’s okay for them to be here from Mexico and to put them back where they found them.”

“Well that sounds like a noble plan,” I said, giving her a hug.

“It is, Nana.  Plus I’ll make lots of money!”

Now there’s the little capitalist I know and love.


One Comment on “Light of My Life, Miss Amber”

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