Last year I participated in the Banned Books Blog Hop to promote the much maligned book Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews in celebration of banned books week, which bring light to books banned or challenged. Some of the books on the list are understandable (not that I agree with banning, I don't), some are surprising, and some are downright shocking. The sad thing is that there are so many to choose from.
This year the book I chose shocked me. Why? It's a book my own daughter read as a young girl, that I read with her. It's an amusing and fantastic book of children's poems and awesome drawings. The book I chose is A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein. Surprised? Wait until you hear why it's been challenged or banned.
The poem "How Not To Have To Dry The Dishes" supposedly encourages kids to break the dishes so that they don't have to wash them and to be disobedient.
The poem "Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony" was considered too morbid for children since it discusses death, particularly that the little girl died because her parents wouldn't purchase her a pony.
The book was often criticized for mentioning supernatural themes, including demons, devils, and ghosts, and promote disrespect, horror, and violence. Really? A children's poem book? As I read it with my young daughter, not once did I think it taught, promoted, or encouraged any of those things.
It was, in fact, number 51 on the list of most frequently contested books of 1990-2000. However on Amazon it has 4.8/5 stars after 130 reviews, which is a bit unfair because the three 1-star reviews all come from the same annoying person who WRITES IN ALL CAPS. And it has won and been nominated for several awards.
So, because I feel like this is a book to be appreciated and treasured, I've chosen to give away a hard copy of it via Amazon to my lucky winner. Once the contest is over, I'll contact the winner for their address and have it sent directly from Amazon.
Here's the info about the book with a few excerpts. Make sure to enter using the Rafflecopter and then click on the linky list to hop to other blogs participating in the Banned Books giveaway for a chance to win more great prizes.
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?...
Here in the attic of Shel Silverstein you will find Backward Bill, Sour Face Ann, the Meehoo with an Exactlywatt, and the Polar Bear in the Frigidaire. You will talk with Broiled Face, and find out what happens when Somebody steals your knees, you get caught by the Quick-Digesting Gink, a Mountain snores, and They Put a Brassiere on the Camel.
From the creator of the beloved poetry collections Where the Sidewalk Ends and Falling Up, here is another wondrous book of poems and drawings.
I can't believe Shel would be banned! That's a crime. I swear, when adults try to "ban" things from kids, it just makes kids more curious. Just be upfront with kids and explain things in a simple and direct way. Plus, I think it's fun to talk about ghosts and breaking dishes! Thanks for sharing! xoReplyDelete
I know, right? How do you ban a book of children's poems? It's laughable. Hopefully it did what you suggested, and helped Shel sell a bunch of books. :o)Delete
New Follower...didn't fill out the Raffelcopter form so please don't enter me in the giveaway.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the follow! I went to your blog to return the favor, but I already follow you. :o)Delete
I love Shel Silverstein! How sad someone couldn't see the humor in the poems!ReplyDelete
I agree, Kayla. It's very sad to me that anyone could believe there's anything other than humor in his poetry! I let my kids read Shel Silverstein when they were very young and how odd that none of them broke dishes, had a fear of death, or became violent people. :o)Delete