My 7-year-old is just becoming interested in books and of course I want to encourage him, but lately he's been reading the truly awful Captain Underpants series on bathroom-humor. The books are clearly aimed at kids (mostly boys) who otherwise wouldn't bother reading, probably on the theory that reading something is better than nothing. But they're full of deliberate misspellings ("Skool", "teechur") and lurid descriptions of pranks played on incompetent teachers and school officials. Do I really want my kids exposed to what is basically Beevus and Butthead for grade schoolers?
The books are all cheap (under $10) and, since they're Japanese translations, you get to learn about Japanese culture at the same time.