Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Banned Books Week

Franki sent me a link from Outside of a Cat about Banned Books week...

...there it was, number 98 on the list of 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000: THE HEADLESS CUPID by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. The memories came flooding back...new teacher, just out of OSU with an MA in Children's Literature; parents loud and threatening and defiant; questioning myself, my judgement, my professionalism; feeling of support when my principal read the book and defended it and me when we met with the parents...and my astonishment when I learned, at that meeting with the parents, that THEY HADN'T EVEN READ THE BOOK! We cooked up some activities for the kid to do in another book out in the hall while the class (or the group...that part's fuzzy) worked on THE HEADLESS CUPID, but his parents wound up reading the book (finally) and realized it wasn't so bad, and they let the kid finish the book on his own because he wanted to find out how the story ended.

Gigantic nothing-burger with a side of ignorance. Left me with a mild case of professional indigestion, but no permanent aversion to books that fringe cases might not approve of.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:26 PM

    I'm new to the world of "blogging" (this is my first time blogging), but found your post interesting enough to blog.

    I have never understood the entire notion of "Banning Books". I understand some literature is not appropriate for certain age groups; there should be some guidelines. At the same time, however, if a child is interesting in reading a book such as "Catcher in the Rye", why not let them?

    I teach English in a junior high school, and I cannot tell you how many times I've become so frustrated when my students do not read. I decided to look for a book that the students would be interested. I ran across "Walkers Crossing" by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. The book did contain strong issues concentrating on racism. I used this material as a teachable moment for my students. My students were extremely interested in the book and did not want to put the book down. It was amazing!

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