Here is a list of books that another rogue cell of the Amurrican Wingnuttiban* based in Blue Valley, Kansas want to have taken out of schools, libraries and this plane of reality.
1. All the Pretty Horses
2. Animal Dreams
3. The Awakening
4. The Bean Trees
6. Black Boy
7. Fallen Angels
8. The Hot Zone
9. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
10. Lords of Discipline
11. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
12. Song of Solomon
14. This Boy’s Life
Choosing a book link on their page takes you to a disclaimer the likes of which are only seen on porn sites and the warning labels of industrial strength varnish-remover…
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Hilarious. Paging Dr Werthem!
Then you get to the excerpt page…
Myers, Walter Dean
Used in the Blue Valley Communication Arts classes
This extremely graphic novel is a story about a group of young Army recruits in Vietnam. It centers around a black man from Harlem, Richie Perry, and how his opinion of the war is quickly changed. He initially believes that he won’t be there long and won’t have to actually fight because of a medical issue. After witnessing intense and repeated brutality and destruction he doubts the “morality” of the war and decides it’s not possible to define the line between good and evil.
If this book was selected by Blue Valley school staff to teach children about the Vietnam War, it was a poor choice. Yes, “war IS hell.” But why not select one of the dozens of well-written books about the Vietnam War written by someone who was actually there? Walter Dean Myers did not serve in Vietnam. It’s difficult to believe that there is not a more suitable book available that 1) shows the perspective of an actual soldier or medical person (whether a minority or not) and 2) does not use pervasive vulgarity. One of the purposes of Communication Arts is to teach kids correct grammar and vocabulary. Does this book expand their minds and vocabularies in an educationally sound way?
Furthermore, together with The Things They Carried these two books promote one narrow opinion about the Viet Nam War, and they promote this opinion in the same vulgar manner.
It’s alarming to consider the effect this book could have on a child with unidentified psychological issues.
Yes? Ban the book because someone who is already unhinged might get a wacky idea from it? Ah, the 50’s! Ban flouride while you are it. Sorry, folks. But if someone is going to have sex or get the Big Headache and flip out it is impossible to keep them from being exposed to anything that might influence them. Even if you “round all the sharp corners” of the world someone will eventually be on top of a clock tower holding a rifle and screaming about how the sunshine and puppies drove him to it. It is all relative.
Truthfully, there are few books on the list I would ever consider reading just because they are so darn boring. I can’t read anything by Maya Angelo without wanting to throw myself under a bus. Yet that doesn’t mean I have to agree with their 18th century ideals.
Interestingly, on their page of books that they are aghast that are not approved to read are titles that others have in the past tried to ban for the themes of drug abuse, child labor, homosexuality and immorality. Under Great Titles for High School are listed, among others, Moby Dick and The Diary of Anne Frank. If I recall correctly, the protagonist and Queequeg of Mellville’s clasic whale hunting book were quite affectionate.
Another gem from their site:
Wouldn’t it make more sense to select high-quality, non-sexualized literature for teenagers in the first place?
Like what…The Bible? I’d suggest they give that little tome an in-depth read for immoral content, also. Yes, I know that is a cliched rebuttal but I can’t help it. I also point out The Passion of the Christ when someone whines about violence in films.
I’d hazard a guess that very few of the Blue Valley Gang have actually read any of the books that they are FOR or AGIN’ and are instead relying on others to write the marching orders for them.
* Anyone ever notice that a wingnut looks like a halo flanked by an angel’s wings? Me neither.