Now This Is How You Sign a Permission Slip So Your Son Can Read Fahrenheit 451 in School

Writer Daniel Radosh recently had to sign a permission slip so his son could read Ray Bradbury‘s brilliant (and often banned) novel Fahrenheit 451 in school as part of a book club.

Noting the irony, he responded with more than just a signature.

Fahrenheit1Long

Fahrenheit2

I love this letter! What a wonderful way to introduce students to the theme of Fahrenheit 451 that books are so dangerous that the institutions of society — schools and parents — might be willing to team up against children to prevent them from reading one. It’s easy enough to read the book and say, “This is crazy. It could never really happen,” but pretending to present students at the start with what seems like a totally reasonable “first step” is a really immersive way to teach them how insidious censorship can be. I’m sure that when the book club is over and the students realize the true intent of this letter they’ll be shocked at how many of them accepted it as an actual permission slip. In addition, [my son’s] concern that allowing me to add this note will make him stand out as a troublemaker really brings home why most of the characters find it easier to accept the world they live in rather than challenge it. I assured him that his teacher would have his back.

Oh, to see the look on that book club sponsor’s face…

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