The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
This story follows a boy through his life as a child, as a teenager, and as an old man. As he ages, a tree gives him her apples, her branches, and her trunk. The boy takes everything offered to him without considering that the tree has now become essentially mulch. When he is old, he uses her trunk as a seat. The moral to this story is, I assume, that life is meaningless.
The velveteen rabbit by Margery Williams
This is about a stuffed rabbit whose owner catches scarlet fever. All his possessions have to be burned. The rabbit, being one of his possessions, is consequently kindling. The rabbit (apparently) dodges the fire by being turned into a real bunny, but all the adult readers and discerning children know that’s got to be symbolic. The rabbit was set on fire. The moral to this one is don’t ever love anything.
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Spoilers)
My older sister’s grade 2 class was reading “Bridge to Terabithia” together, but she was into the story so she read ahead. She reached the part of the story where a main character dies unexpectedly and became so distraught that my mom had to be called. Everyone in the class was still oblivious to what they were in for. The moral to this one is: everyone you love is going to die.
Please use the above list to traumatize children.
Thank you for reading.