Friday, November 26, 2010


I was going through some old sources on books banned and challenged in the last few years and I thought I would post a simple, non-ranting post today because ranting just gets me upset for the rest of the day.  Today will be about the facts only regarding the removal of Laurie Halse Anderson's Twisted from the Montgomery County High School curriculum in 2009.  This information comes from "Books Challenged or Banned in 2009-2010" by Robert P. Doyle.

Withdrawn from classroom use and the approved curriculum at the Montgomery County, Ky. High School (2009), but available at the high school library and student book club. Some parents have complained about five novels that contain foul language and cover topics — including sex, child abuse, suicide, and drug abuse — deemed unsuited for discussion in coed high school classes. They also contend that the books don’t provide the intellectual challenge and rigor that students need in college preparatory classes. The titles appeared on suggested book lists compiled by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, for twelve- to eighteen-year-olds who are “reluctant readers.” The superintendent removed the book because it wasn’t on the pre-approved curriculum list and couldn’t be added by teachers in the middle of a school year without permission.

Source: Jan. 2010, pp. 16–17; Mar. 2010, p. 56.


  1. Weeeeeelllll.... "intellectual challenge and rigour," eh? I would love to see what they are actuallyy teaching at the high school level that does contain intellectual rigour. I am speaking from the position of one who is disappointed in our schools' reading choices for their lack of both content and language. But a text doesn't have to be written by Michael Ondaatje to have benefit. Those texts that address real social problems through fictional metaphor--or even in the garb of realist fiction-- serve a great purpose. The intellectual rigour associated with such texts comes from the method of instruction, from the input of the instructor and the dynamics in the classroom. Even Harry Potter can be made instructional. Heck, even TWILIGHT has something to say... but don't get me started!

  2. I totally agree with you Karyn. There are a lot of things to learn from fiction that isn't necessarily Dickens or Atwood. I don't know why there seems to be such a strong bias. And yeah, Twilight still has a lot to say, even if it's not necessarily positive.