Roberta Seelinger Trites, a scholar and author of Disturbing the Universe reminds us that fighting institutions is part of life and part of what defines young people as they grow up and learn to make their own decisions, form identities, and figure out what defines their lives. The Chocolate War is one of the best examples of this principle and it is a novel that I don't think anyone should really miss. Though of course, how could a novel about undermining an institution, such as a school, go without its own challenges in the world? The following is the information from Robert P. Doyle's Books Challenged or Banned in 2007-2008:
Removed from the Harford County, Md. High School curriculum (2007) because its message on the dangers of bullying is overshadowed by instances of vulgar language, including homophobic slurs. In November 2007, the Harford County's school superintendent reversed her decision to bar Cormier's novel and returned it to the classroom. Teachers now have the option of using the novel in a course that deals with harassment and decision making, but must get permission from all parents of students in the class. Challenged as an optional reading in a bullying unit at the Lake Oswego, Oreg. Junior High School (2007) because the novel is "peppered with profanities, ranging from derogatory slang terms to sexual encounters and violence." Students are given a list of book summaries and a letter to take to their parents. Four of the eight optional books offered are labeled as having "mature content/language." Challenged in the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho School District (2007). Some parents say the book, along with five others, should require parental permission for students to read them. Challenged as required reading for seventh-grade students at the John H. Kinzie Elementary School in Chicago, Ill. (2007). Challenged at the Northridge School District in Johnstown, Ohio (2007) because "if these books were a movie, they would be rated R, why should we be encouraging them to read these books?"
I'll let you answer that last question for yourself... Or in the Comments Section!!