Challenges to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
30 JANUARY 2006
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time causing controversy in Texas.
From the Galveston County Daily News:
FRIENDSWOOD — The community of Friendswood is neck deep in discussion
about the novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”
Unfortunately, the discussion is not literary.
On Monday, Friendswood Mayor Kim Brizendine issued a proclamation
declaring Jan. 31 Galveston County Reads Day for “all citizens, teens to
Note that the issue is over a VOLUNTARY "One City, One Book" program
geared towards people in their TEENS on up. Fun abounds: The mayor
endorsed the novel without reading it and then retracted the endorsement, a
city councilman got to the F-bomb on page 4 and freaked out. Read the
article -- there are some wonderful quotes.
Thursday, August 09, 2007 | 9:11 AM
WTVG Toledo--August 7, 2007 -- Sexually explicit language found in recommened summer
reading books for local HS
We all want our kids to keep their reading skills sharp over the summer, but do you know what
they're reading? Some parents in Bryan were appalled to see what their kids were reading and the
books were chosen by the school. Repeated curse words and sexually explicit language, all inside
two novels recommended for students at Bryan High School. The two books are "The Curious
Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon and "Catalyst" by Laurie Halse
Some parents skimmed through the books and couldn't believe their eyes. Bryan High School
parent Sue Held says, "I was quite offended by it. I can't believe that book had actually been
chosen as one of the selections."
Sue Held and other parents complained to school administrators. School officials gave the book
to a committee to review, and in the end, they saw nothing wrong, even though one curse word
was written at least fifteen times in one book, and the other book described graphic sexual
We talked to the school's superintendent James Gunner. He released this statement to 13abc:
"We have a board policy, if a parent or a community member objects to any material we assign
to students they can file a written complaint. They can request that the material be removed from
all students and an alternative assignment can be given."
Gunner says after the review, parents were given a choice and that the students could read an
alternate book. He say less than 20 parents out of 380 kids chose another book. Sue Held
believes these books are unsuitable for not just some but all high school students.
"I should have not been put in this position. I trusted my school administrators, I trusted the
school teachers and basically they let us down."
Sue says her children did read another book this summer and from now on, she will keep a closer
eye on the material the school
25 JUNE 2007
Another summer reading complaint.
From the Intelligencer:
By page four, Joellen Greenwood was offended by the profanity in her son’s
required summer reading for his North Penn High School English class next
The district decided to examine the entire summer reading list after
Greenwood complained about “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-
Time” at Thursday night’s school board meeting.
I know it's silly, but I am surprised every time someone takes issue with this
book. Not because I loved it (which I did), but because when it came out,
practically every single Little Old Lady who comes to my library (and there
are a lot of them) read it and they all raved about it.
Also, the kid whose mother made the complaint? Yeah. He's an incoming
senior. As always, that makes me wonder what will happen when he goes
away to college.
25 June 2007 in Books - Challenged | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
When will they ever learn?
When will they ev-ver lea-arnnnn?
Challenging a book always makes people more interested in it:
"As soon as it was handed out ... everybody was reading it," Nicole, 14, said
about "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," by Stephen Chbosky. "People could
be seen in class reading it, and in gym class, too. A lot of people have
finished it already because it was really good."
Nicole and several other students interviewed recently said the book was
good, but not particularly upsetting in its sexual explicitness.
"It's appropriate. All kids know about the things that go on, even if parents
might not want to know or might not think that we do. But we do," said
Jessica, 14, another freshman who had read the book.
Friendswood, TX (2006):
Olentangy, OH (2006): Acting on complaints from a parent, book removed unilaterally by school
superintendent from optional summer reading list. The complaining parent admitted that she had
not even read the book in entirety.
Unknown city, IN (2006): Protested for use on ninth grade summer reading list because of “f-
word.” As of now, the book remains on reading list.
Unknown city and state (2006): Challenged in tenth grade gifted program because of language and
negative references to Christianity. Retained by school board.
Sources: NCTE Censorship Challenge News, March 2006; NCTE Censorship Challenge News,
December 2006; National Coalition Against Censorship website;