Friday, December 12, 2008

Banned, Censored, Challenged: James and the Giant Peach

This children's novel, written by Roald Dahl, is absolutely delightful. It is the story of an orphan named James who runs away from his evil aunts and flies away in a peach with a group of supersized insects. It is funny, childish and irreverent but it has the word 'ass' in it.

So does the Bible...oh, wait, book Nazis got that one, too. (see The Bible)

The literary gestapo also claimed that the book teaches kids to disobey adults. The little boy James in this story is horribly treated by his two wicked Aunts. So he escapes and lives in a flying peach.

Does that mean if children read it, they are going to run away in a giant peach?Are they going to throw snow balls at Cloudmen?

The first basic fallacy in this argument is the idea that a child will copy everything last little thing they see. Children don't see sex, drugs and immorality everywhere-unless an adult points it out to them.

My first grade teacher, Mrs. Sutherland read it to to our class. And I adored it. She must've just skipped over the ass business. All I remember is picturing the fluffy, vindictive, cloud men and picturing that sweet glorious peach...

Read this book to your kids. Read all of Dahl's books to them.

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