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Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn as inappropriate for kids

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Censored Book Reflection
· Due on day 7 (Monday) by 11:59 pm Mountain Time
· Research the American Library Association Web site (http://www.ala.org/) or the International Reading Association Web site (http://www.reading.org/General/Default.aspx) to find children's books that have been censored.
· Choose a censored book
· Research why it was censored.
· Discuss whether you agree or disagree with the decision to ban the use of this book in schools and explain the rationale for your viewpoint.
· Suggest how the book might be used in schools, define the grade levels for which you would use the book, and describe how you would introduce and work with it as a classroom teacher.
· Format your paper according to APA

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Solution Summary

Discussion of censorship of books, Web site URL listed, and Mark Twain's book "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" as a book challenged as inappropriate for children. Analysis and reasons for why this charge is patently untrue - justified with examples from other children's literature.

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The list of children's challenged books that I accessed from the Web came from the following Web page address: URL http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pressreleases2008/may2008/penguin.cfm

To address the components of your assignment's instructions, I have copied and pasted them here, and will address each in turn.

1 Choose a censored book: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
2 Research why it was censored. Racism
3 Discuss whether you agree or disagree with the decision to ban the use of this book in schools and explain the rationale for your viewpoint.

The first issue that I have with the terminology used here is that these books were not "banned," they were challenged. A challenge, from the Web site's own definition, is a formal complaint that the book be removed for various reasons: inappropriate for the age group, explicit sex, offensive language, sexual orientation issues, religious issues, and others. A challenge does not in any way, shape, or form mean that the book was banned. The Bible gets challenged routinely, as does the Koran, the writings of Buddha and Confucius, and other "holy scriptures" by persons not of those particular faiths. The books listed for 2007 mention several that I have read, most notably Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

The second issue I have with this listing of banned children's books is that I myself did not consider several of the titles "children's" books. Maya Angelou's, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, may recount the adventures of children, but the mere fact that a book's characters are children does not make it a children's book. William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies, may be ...

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  • EDd (IP), Northcentral University
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