Had she heard the language her own son used? Before we started reading Steinbeck?
And guess what? Junior high kids still relish tossing around strong language. And books are still withdrawn from classrooms and libraries because parents object to content. Content that kids deal with on a daily basis. You could pick any junior high student at random and ask--who's struggling with an eating disorder? Who's cutting? Who takes drugs? Who's most likely to get pregnant? Who's already been pregnant?
Books aren't the problem.
Stories about tough subjects show kids that they aren't alone in their experiences. Stories show a way out, a solution, new possibilities, and sometimes they simply provide an escape. As Chris Crutcher says, "Censorship works against kids who don't have much anyway."
Let's try banning poverty, abuse, and racism instead!
To win a signed copy of Chris Crutcher's banned book Deadline, please leave a comment. Drawing will be held on Wednesday, October 6, 2010.