The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Day They Came to Arrest the Book

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The Day They Came to Arrest the Book by Nat Hentoff

Young Adult, 176 pages


I’m completely against any form of censorship and this book by Nat Hentoff helps individuals, especially teens understand the importance of what exactly censorship is and its consequences. The subject of the book is simple: the school board wants to ban The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn from the curriculum and school library after a parent complains, however not everyone agrees. The Day They Came to Arrest the Book reflects different opinions with teachers, parents, school board, community, and students. This book could be used in the classroom simultaneously while reading The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn to form their own viewpoint about why the book is so often banned and whether they agree. The writing itself is not spectacular, but it’s the message that sparks a classroom discussion about censorship. The topic may be complex and sensitive at times, so I suggest this book to middle school age and older.

opening page:

“No group should have veto power over what books we can read,” Barney volunteered.

“Exactly.” The librarian nodded her head. “Think, Kate. If Huckleberry Finn is going to be thrown out of school because it offends some black parents, what’s to stop other groups of parents from getting up their lists of books they want out of here? Catholics, Jews, feminists, anti-feminists, conservatives, liberals, Greeks, Turks, Armenians. Where does it end, Kate””

Banned book week occurs  September 24−October 1, 2011, so I’ll highlight different banned books. You’d be surprised which books have been banned or challenged in the past. How many of these classics have you read that were banned or challenged?

You can also examine my banned/challenged bookshelf on Goodreads which is on my blogroll.