Some people in Loudoun County have been complaining about a few books that are available to our students. Monday’s Not Coming, by Tiffany D. Jackson, was specifically mentioned and quoted at a recent school board meeting.
To gauge whether or not the complaints were legitimate, I read the book, and I loved it. It was powerful, difficult, and emotional. It also contained some uncomfortable moments, but then, so does life, even for middle school and high school students. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY endorse this book and hope kids read it. Although the complainers read actual snippets from the book that contained sexual encounters, these encounters were not glorified. They were wrapped up in emotional stress, peer pressure, and the confusion that comes with puberty and early encounters with sexuality.
Monday’s Not Coming is not about sex; rather, it’s about dyslexia, parenting, church, community, friendship, race, post traumatic stress disorders, child abuse, and the idea that sometimes adults don’t listen to children even though they should. This book should be available to our students, because there are students who have questions and concerns about their lives and their friends, but don’t know who to turn to. And for other students who suffer no such hardships, they will learn about the diversity of our country and region, and perhaps they’ll be more sympathetic to classmates who are clearly dealing with distress.
I am the father of a 14 year old daughter about to complete the 8th grade, and I have encouraged her to read this book. She has already read The Hunger Games and lots of World War 2 historical fiction, so she has encountered difficult themes, arguably far more devastating than anything from Monday’s Not Coming. My kids are the most important people in my life, which is why I want my daughter to read this. To quote another line from the book, spoken by the main character’s father, “I’m here to catch you every time you think you’re about to fall. That’s what daddies are supposed to do.”
There will always be people who try to sow division in our community, but we don’t have to listen to them. Thanks to our school board for making Monday’s Not Coming available to our students. And thanks to our teachers, counselors, and the administrators who provide our kids with great educations.