The Witches by Roald Dahl
This is an obvious candidate for banning. The title only lets you know why people don’t like it. EEK! Witches! However the witches aren’t your traditional satanic, black wearing, cackling witches, in fact…
the witches aren’t even human! They do pretend to be human though. The main character’s grandmother teaches him how to recognize a witch:
1. witches have no hair, and must therefore wear wigs directly on their naked scalps, resulting in a condition they call “wig-rash”;
2. witches have thin, curved, claw-like fingernails that they must disguise with gloves;
3. witches have no toes;
4. a witch’s spit is bright blue, leaving a pale bluish film on their teeth;
5. a witch has unusual color-changing pupils in which one may see “fire and ice dancing” in the center
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
When I saw this one, I had to do a double and then a triple take… WHAT!?! You must be kidding me! And I still say WHAT?! You’ve got to be kidding me! After I saw the reasons why.
1) The poem “How Not To Have To Dry The Dishes” encourages kids to break the dishes so that they don’t have to wash them.
2) The poem “Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony” was considered too morbid for children since it discusses death (because she says she’ll die if she doesn’t get her pony, and then she does).
3) The book was often criticized for mentioning supernatural themes, including demons, devils, and ghosts.
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
I love this blog post from the Daily Banning.
The Stupids are a series of books about a family that, well, you guessed it, is stupid. They do all sorts of silly things that kids who are old enough to read the books, should know better than to do. People feel, however, that maybe children can’t see the difference between what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. What a great way to open discussion! I can see it now… “Hey Jack!” (that’s my son’s name) “Yes mommy?” (that’s my name) “If you do really badly in school, do you think we should throw a party?” (Jack considers a moment) “No mommy, probably not, because you and daddy would be really sad.”
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
By quickly looking at the book, you might think its for little little people, but upon reading the poems (here’s one):
I is for Icicle
Any icy stabbing so swiftly done,
the victim scarcely felt it.
The police are baffled:
“Where’s the weapon?”
The sun shines down to melt it.
You soon realize that its for older kids. I’m positive that many parents don’t want their four year-olds reading it (me being one of them), but for older kids in fifth or sixth grade, I think it might be fun. Another librarian blogged about this book recently, so I’ll share their post with you here.