It's Banned Books Week, and it has occurred to me that all the books that my son is reading for 7th grade English class have shown up on lists of banned or challenged books.
can actually still be taught in high schools in Arizona, having survived the debacle that occurred when the Dept. of Education went into classrooms and removed the books used for Mexican Studies. But it wasn't clear at first, when it showed up on the list of books being challenged and removed, if it was going to be approved by those in power or not.
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, is "ranked #43 on the American Library Association’s Top 100 Most
Challenged Books of 1990-2000 and has been banned from some schools and
libraries because of its portrayal of gang violence, underage smoking
and drinking, strong language, slang usage, and exposé on family
dysfunction." (from Banned Books Awareness). My son just finished this one, and is not smoking, drinking, or swearing (much), nor is he more a dysfunctional member of the family than he was before.
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is going to expose my son to the "n" word 48 times. But I think he's going to be a better person for having read it.
Macbeth is going to expose him to graphic violence and witchcraft. Shoot. He took part in a production of it last year, so it's too late.
In short, I'm glad my son is going to this school. They have lots of banned books in their library too.