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5 Bizarre Books Polish Pupils Read At School

The burning problem of Poland is a very low number of people who read books. The most dramatic statistics say that only 10% of Polish people read more than 7 books per year. The most optimistic data state that 39% of the society can be considered as regular readers. One of the major reasons for this is a ridiculous list of the books that every Polish child has to read at school. Although the Ministry of Education removed from this list some of the cruelest and unimportant publications, there are still at least a few books guilty for the miserably low number of people who read books in Poland:

1.Janko Muzykant by Henryk Sienkiewicz

The ridiculously cruel story about an unfair treatment of a child, Janko. He is a peasant child, gifted by musical talent. When he becomes fascinated by the fiddle he hears from a nearby noble manner, his life became a horror. Janko, as a typical child, sneaks to the manor to touch them. Sadly, is captured and sentenced to flagellation. At the end of the book, he dies from injuries suffered. I have never met a person who read this book with pleasure. Moreover, this novella is in a program of the primary school, what makes this choice even more irrational.

2. Ludzie bezdomni by Stefan Żeromski

„Homeless people” describes the life and social work of the young doctor Tomasz Judym, as well as his love of Joanna Podborska. The novel presents the concept of personal devotion and working for the common people of the 19th century. The book won’t teach you anything interesting and worthy of knowing in the 21st century. Many pupils consider it extremely boring, but it stays one of the most important books you can read at school.

3. Przygody Filonka bez ogonka by Gösta Knutsson

Swedish book also is known as Pelle Svanslös talks about the cat Filonek and his friends. The story begins with the horrible description of the fire of the house. Although the book is dedicated to the youngest readers, the author mentioned the death of the dog in fire and the loss of a Filonek’s tail. The traumatic story was classified as a perfect lecture t the children at the primary school.

4. Tango by Sławomir Mrożek

Once upon a time, Sławomir Mrożek met a young boy who left the final exams at the high school. The boy was apparently sad and had disappointed face. Sławomir Mrożek asked him if he wrote an exam that included questions related to his „tango”. The boy admitted that there was Tango indeed. „I’m so sorry”- the writer responded.  Although the book can be appreciated by the critics, it is too difficult to many teachers who struggle in explaining the plot to the students. Tango is usually the last book you can read at high school, and you will read it if only you are a book lover.

5. Lalka by Bolesław Prus

„The Doll” is one of the most famous polish books of the 19th century. I am aware that many Polish people will criticize me for including this book in my article. The story of the romantic love of Wokulski and  Izabela, daughter of the vacuous, bankrupt aristocrat, Tomasz Łęcki. The book is fat, but the plot doesn’t offer enough to make the story so long. It is another example of serving the old-fashioned story to the children who need to learn something worthy, something they will use as a practical knowledge in their lives. Sadly, Lalka is too overrated and doesn’t give any serious message to the youth of our times. However, as one of the favorite books of the teachers, it makes many students feel like they don’t want to read books anymore.

What do you think?

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Photo: Yaplakal

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