Saturday, January 29, 2005

Write Naughty Words, Get Banned in South Carolina

As a teacher, you've just gotta love Chris Crutcher. His work is PERFECT for reluctant readers because he writes about issues kids care about without talking down to them or getting preachy. Often in middle school or high school, I'd run into a student who said "I hate reading," but if he or she loved sports, Chris Crutcher was my "in." I could hand the kid a Crutcher book, and BINGO! Problem solved.

Recently Crutcher's novel Whale Talk, a story about a 17-year old boy coming to terms with his multiracial heritage, was removed from the South Carolina state reading list because of its "coarse" language. Yesterday, Crutcher met privately with State Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum to discuss his book. Previously Tenenbaum had said: “It’s an excellent story he tells. But if it was made into a movie, I’m pretty sure it would be rated R because of the language. I just felt that wasn’t something we ought to be endorsing.”

No word yet on whether she's changed her mind after meeting with the author. Story here.