My response (a.k.a. what I shared on my facebook wall)
Fancy words and complex grammar do not great literature make; complexity has more to do with the cognitive reasoning it requires to understand, digest, and articulate the meaning beneath those words and sentences. I was supposed to be writing already, but I was distracted by the insanity put forth in this article. Why do we live in a world where we have to measure EVERYTHING onto a scale to decide whether it's worth doing (or reading, in this case)? The headline down there* is wrong; while "The Invisible Man" is (slightly) more complex than its comparison, it meant to say that "The Department of Education Thinks 'Mr. Popper's Penguins' is More Complex Than 'The Grapes of Wrath'" ---- because, seriously? Ranking books based on vocabulary words and sentence length alone, while not taking into account actual meaning and subtext, is confounding to me. I know books are subjective and people argue over them all the time, so I'm simply adding fuel to that fire; but all this list tells me is that when I write my first book, I will make sure to use the correct vocabulary and sentence length to achieve a highest possible placement on the Lexile, thus ensuring that every school in the country orders my book because their parents will feel confident knowing their little darlings are reading only the highest caliber according to the Lexile. Or.... I could write a book based on actual depth of meaning, full of subtext and commentary, and use whatever vocabulary I like to tell it. But hey, maybe I should stop complaining and appreciate the fact that they're recommending Hemingway and Steinbeck to 3rd graders.
Thoughts. From my brain. Anything to do with how we tell stories and the stories we tell each other. Literally and figuratively.
Writer. Husband. Father. Effulgent dreamer. A Fightin' Irishman (@NDdotEDU '01). A playwriting Bobcat (MFA in Playwriting, @OhioU '13). I write plays. I'm a geek. I wanted to be an astronaut. I go places in my head.