James and the Giant Peach
by Roald Dahl
Ages 8+, 126 pages
I was first interested in James and the Giant Peach, since it was on the challenged books list. I was curious as to why this book could be challenged. This was a delightful book about a boy named James Henry Trotter who lives a terrible life with two aunts who blame him for everything and don’t allow any pleasures. He comes across some magic crystals and the next the day a peach grows larger. James explores the giant peach and meets new friends: Centipede, Earthworm, Green Grasshopper, Miss Spider, Silkworm and Glow-worm. Together with his new creature friends they face struggles and adventures. Each creature does their part for survival while living upon the giant peach.
Reasons for being challenged:
Parents challenged James and the Giant Peach for references to the aunts acting like witches toward James and the word ass appears. The courts unanimously retained the book. One school superintendent stated that the book was a fantasy about good triumphing over evil.
Reference: Banned in the U.S.A. A Reference Guide to Book Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries by Herbert N. Foerstel