Friday, November 13, 2015

The Day They Came to Arrest the Book by Nat Hentoff

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A typical middle or high school book to read is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but when the history teacher at George Mason High School assigns the book to her class, the unexpected happens.  In this realistic fiction story, a high school and community experience the rift caused when several students become very vocal about the topics presented in the book.  The students then turn to their parents with complaints of the book being racist, sexist, and immoral.  Once the parents confront the principal, who is notorious for censoring books, he goes straight to the library and demands the offensive text be removed.  The community and the school quickly become divided on whether or not the book should be banned listing a cacophony of reasons.

Barney Roth, a reporter for the school paper, intends to expose the story for what it is and force people to consider the 1st Amendment and people’s viewpoint of what is or isn’t offensive.  The school librarian intends to stand up for the rights of the students because she feels they should have the freedom to read what they want.  In this thought-provoking story, we must always keep at the forefront the freedoms of our readers.  

I find it interesting that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is still being banned and challenged in America.  When the book first came out, it was banned because it showcased the friendship between a white boy and escaped slave.  Now, it is banned largely due to the derogatory language, poor grammar (spoken by Huck and Jim), and overall coarseness.  Many of the supporters of the novel view it as a masterful work that promotes free-thinking.

Work Cited

Lauren and Marcy the day they came to arrest the book. (2011, Sep 14). Retrieved from <>.

Perles, Karen. (2015). Should Huckleberry Finn be banned? bright hub education. Retrieved from <>.

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