Opinion | Pop Culture

Why There's No Narnia in Our Home

Forget 'Slaughterhouse Five'—there's enough bloodshed in some of the best children's literature to raise my parenting fears.

Banned Books Week got off to a rousing start this year with the publication of a letter from Wesley Scroggins, Missouri State University professor of management, in The Springfield News-Leader. The letter, "Filthy books demeaning to Republic education," listed books on Scroggins's hit list, including Speak, Slaughterhouse Five, and Twenty Boy Summer, all of which are on the syllabus at the local public high school or recommended reading in the school library. Scroggins enumerated some of the books' offensive material, imploring parents and taxpayers to ask if this was how they wanted to spend their money and educate their children.

Scroggins was subsequently excoriated across the blogosphere for his censorship, misreading of several of the books' themes, and poor writing. On one publishing blog, a literary agent's assistant offered her tongue-in-cheek editorial services and went through Scroggins's letter line by line with suggestions on sentence construction, punctuation, and grammar. ...

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