"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Monday, October 4, 2010

Banned Book Review #3: A Light in the Attic


Title: A Light in the Attic
Author: Shel Silverstein
Pages: 176
Rating: 4/5

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, find out what happens when Somebody steals your knees, get caught by the Quick-Digesting Gink, hear a Mountain snore, and see Them 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 (goodreads.com)


Attempts have been made to ban the book from some libraries, parents claiming that the poem "How Not To Have To Dry The Dishes" encourages messiness and disobedience.  The poem "Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony" led to more criticism for describing the death of a girl after her parents refuse to buy her a pony. This led the book to be banned by the Fruitland Park Elementary School in Lake County, Florida.  The decision, however, was later reversed by an advisory committee of parents and teachers. Other complaints included the mention of supernatural themes, including demons, devils, and ghosts.
Growing up, I loved Shel Silverstein's books.  I borrowed both A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends from the library so much, I'm surprised anyone else ever had a chance to read them.  I always found the illustrations to be funny and the poems always gave me the giggles.  Reading them again this past week, had the same affect.

I've always felt that Shel Silverstein has one of the most creative minds I've ever seen.  The way he writes his poetry and illustrates really pulls the reader in, plus I think it opens a doorway for younger children to be introduced to different genres of literature.  Do I think some of the illustrations are maybe a bit inappropriate for younger readers?  Maybe...there is a few pictures with bare butts...but then again, we all have butts.  I certainly don't see this as a reason to take these books away from our children.  Furthermore, I found it absoultely hilarious that parents were blaming the poems in this book for causing and encouring "messiness and disobiendence.  I know I read these books a ton during my developing years, and I never knew them to stop me from having to do the dishes or keeping a messy room (I wish it would have been that easy!).

After re-reading A Light in the Attic, I'm super excited to re-read Where the Sidewalk Ends.  I also have a copy of Silversteins Falling Up that I'm looking forward to taking a peek at.

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