Celebrate Banned Book Week – The Chocolate War

Sep 22, 2008

Posted by: Doris | Comments


Banned Books Week
Celebrating the Freedom to Read
September 27’October 4, 2008

Over the next few weeks I’ll be discussing books on the American Library Association’s Banned Book List. This list contains book often challenged in our public libraries. Harry Potter is one book often found on this list. As we get ready to celebrate Banned Book Week, I’m asking readers to check out some of these books from your public library and enjoy the books. If we sit by and allow others to dictate what we are allowed to read we’ll loose our ability to enjoy an intellectual society.

Banned Books Week
Celebrating the Freedom to Read
September 27’October 4, 2008

“The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.”
–Oscar Wilde

One of the books on the 2007 banned books list is one book that I recommend to all students prior to entering high school.

The first sentence in this book is …

“They murdered him.”

Jerry is a freshman student at Trinity High School. There he is confronted by the school gang. His friend, Goober, will never be the same after giving into the gang but Jerry is different. He plans the Chocolate Wars in hope to get the upper-hand.

I remember the first time I read this book. I walked away from this book thinking about the senselessness of the violence, the animal like actions of the gang and the desire to never see this happen at my school. This book didn’t just entertain me, it made me think and ignited a passion for what is right.

Wow, isn’t that what a great book should do?

According to the American Library Association (ALA) The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, is number two on the banned book list because it contains…

Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, (and) Violence

While I can understand that some parents might feel uncomfortable allowing their children to read this book, I do think that this book can be an incredible teaching tool if a parent and a young adult read this book together. I agree this book might not be appropriate for some very young children, I feel that a parent would simply ask their child to choose another book instead of removing this book from our libraries. Once a book is removed from any library, then it is no longer available to those of us who’d like to choose that book.

Please take a few minutes before Banned Book Week and read a few of the books on the ALA’s List. Along with The Chocolate War and Tango Make’s Three (which I discussed previously) there are many other wonderful books to read! Including my favorite, Harry Potter.

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