This book was released in 1971. It was presented as nonfiction but is at least partially fictionalized. The author is actually a psychiatrist named Beatrice Sparks who worked with troubled teens in the 70s. She claimed to be only the editor of the book and said the book was the edited diary of one of her patients.
The book is still one of the most banned and challenged in America. It has been removed from school libraries in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1974); Saginaw, Michigan (1975); Eagle Pass, Texas (1977) and Trenton, New Jersey (1977). It was one of 11 books banned in Island Trees Free School District No.26 in New York in 1982. The novels were returned to the library after a US Supreme Court ruling that said the ban violated students' free speech. At the Central (Gwinnett) High School in Georgia (1986) a parent complained that the book "encourages students to steal and take drugs."
Go Ask Alice does not encourage students to steal and take drugs.The book shows teenagers what can happen if you use drugs. Alice ends up on drugs and becomes a dirty, homeless, ragged teenager. She ends up on the streets, dirty. She sleeps with strangers. While high, she puts herself in dangerous situations that lead to her being assaulted and taken advantage of. This is what drugs can do to you.
How else should drug use be depicted? How do you write a book about drug abuse without drug abuse in it? Should books about drugs be clean and polite, even though drug addiction leads to a dark, vulgar and profane place?
Monday, October 5, 2009
Banned, Censored, Challenged: Go Ask Alice