The American Library Association has come up with a very cool timeline of book liberation:
I was surprised at the books that people found offensive, and the reasons they gave.
When Strat was in 8th grade, one of the books on his reading list was “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote. I contacted the teacher because I didn’t think Strat was ready for that book. Its depiction of the murder of an entire family was shocking, but I also felt the portrayal of the murderers in a humanistic and sympathetic manner was too advanced for him. So, Strat didn’t read it.
However, he can certainly read it now, and analyze the emotions, feelings, and friendships in the book with a more mature mindset than 6 years ago. He can ponder how a person can kill innocent people, then evoke sympathy as he awaits his death. it is a very complex book.
I exercised my right as a parent to remove this book from Strat’s reading list. I did not ever consider asking the teacher to remove it from the class reading list. It never crossed my mind to request that it be removed from the Middle School Library. The very idea that someone would feel they were in the right to remove it in such a sweeping manner boggles my mind.
And yet … it still happens.