Mummification, human vivisection and live burials in a format children can understand. Yes, really.
You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Inca Mummy will let parents address most of the uncomfortable questions that don’t involve sex, including human sacrifice, what happens when you yank out someone’s heart, the various ways of clubbing someone to death, and how the commoners should prostrate themselves before their rulers. The authors certainly aren’t operating under a belief in the concept of the Noble Savage. And, it has a cartoonish format and simple text that is suitable for first and second graders.
While the book really is disturbing (and disturbing for someone who used to read alt.tasteless on Usenet ), and I’m still not sure when I’d read it with Max, that I’d find this prominently displayed on the “New Books” shelf in the children’s section of the library absolutely thrills me. When the media seems to be failing in its critical role as defenders of open, free expression, we still have librarians who will fight to put whatever they damn well want to on the shelves.
Here is another example. F’d Companies is the most profane, nearly obscene, book I’d ever admit to reading, but it is also an important chronicle of the insanity of the late 1990’s. I nearly howled with joy when I saw it on a public library shelf. I could imagine the librarian placing it facing outward, thinking to herself that it would be a poke in the eye of every sanctimonious prude that passed by. God bless her.
Don’t forget, kids, child sacrifice is a privilege.