Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Scary Stories


According to an article in the Courier-Journal, a complaint against the series 'Scary Stories' by Alvin Schwartz has been rejected in Greater Clark County, Indiana. The school board voted unanimously to keep these stories in the elementary school libraries.

Dorsey, a local grandparent, wanted all volumes in the series banned because they depict cannibalism, murder, witchcraft and ghosts, and include a story about somebody being skinned. Her granddaughter did not read the book but saw the pictures and was having nightmares because of them, she said.

Doug Chinn, principal at Utica Elementary, said that the request to ban the book was rejected because the books were considered appropriate for older elementary students. The committee suggested that parents should review what their children are reading.

According to the American Library Association, the "Scary Stories" series topped the list of the 100 most frequently challenged books from 1990 to 2000. It continues to face challenges each year.

18 comments:

Tiny Little Librarian said...

Oh my gosh, my library couldn't survive without these!! They're insanely popular and the best thing to hand a kid wanting scary stories, since it says so right in the title - they can't argue that they're not what they wanted! :)

Anonymous said...

We should get rid of them! What's the purpose of reading? To have nightmares? or to fear the dark? Our children are already desensitized from violence, and that's why they crave more grusome, violent stories.

fahrenheit451moderator said...

What is the purpose of reading? Is it always to educate or can we allow kids to have some fun and to experience a little fear in the safe environment of a book? Do we stop our kids from going through a haunted house at the amusement park or keep them from riding the roller coaster? Do you know adults who read romance novels? Does that mean that they are craving more and more fulfillment of romantic fantasies?

There are gruesome, violent stories on the news every night. Should we get rid of the news as well? I would argue that it desensitizes all of us to the horrors of war and inner city violence.

While I ask these questions, I believe it is the right and responsibility of a parent to decide whether or not their children are able to handle the material in books. Obviously, if your child has nightmares after reading scary stories, it would be a good idea to steer clear of them.

At the same time, no one has the right to make that choice for another person's child.

Anonymous said...

i agree with anonimus books are really stupid. All books do is put fear into the minds of children and make them think too much. That's not the way god wanted it or else eve wouldn't have eaten the apple. We have enouf violence in this world with all you book people tryin to prevent the war in iraq which would cause more terrorism and evil!

Anonymous said...

NO! WRONG WRONG WRONG! i luv the scary stories series.. people shoudl know what they can handle to read and what they cant!!!

you have brains! USE THEM

why be scared to read?

z0mbie said...

dem books r bad yo ): thay made me iletarite

fahrenheit451moderator said...

Obviously, they have been helpful in developing your sense of humour.

Anonymous said...

Lol you guys are book nerds if you actually like this stuff.

Another Anonymous Person said...

I'm glad this book is being challenged.
Though I did like the books a lot in a way, they did have a strange affect on me.
I at LEAST know that one story in particular actually scared me badly. The thing that got me was the artwork. I was afraid to go to sleep and clung to my mom which I think lead her to talk to my teacher because I was freaking out (which I never did).
This was in third grade too. I don't know why our teacher was reading that to us. One just has to consider WHO could get their hands on this and who can read it to children. Some of those pictures can stick with a person. They still do with me and I'm eighteen now. I'm not AFRAID of them still, but they do leave me with eerie memories.

Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE books and they were a major part of my childhood and still are. Books are very important (I mean look how they've impacted history. It's not like they're useless). I'm not saying these "Scary Stories" books ruined me (I even kind of like horror movies now), but I will never forget how I felt after seeing some of those pictures when I wasn't ready to.
I think teachers need to be more careful and considerate.

Anonymous said...

You ignorant adults need to lighten up because there is nothing to stop the freedom of reading. No kid reads these days anyway so you might as well keep them in the libraries.

fahrenheit451moderator said...

In response to anonymous, kids are reading and they are visiting libraries. In our town of about 15,000 people, about 300 kids signed up for the TD Summer Reading Program and to date have read 6332 books and there is still a week left in the program. Other forms of entertainment may be on the rise but a lot of kids are still reading.

religion_major said...

I would just like to mention that I fell in love with these books in first or second grade. Sure, they spooked me, but that was the point. As Tiny Little Librarian pointed out, the words "Scary Stories" are right there in the title. If I didn't want to be scared, I wouldn't have read them! Since the beginning, humans have told each other scary stories as a form of amusement. Alvin Schwartz has merely taken that tradition and put it in writing. And to all you bible thumpers (I myself am very religious, too, by the way): don't try to tell me that some of the content in the bible isn't more frightening than any of these short stories. Take the crucifiction for example! Anyways, now that I've spent a perfectly good ten minutes on this, back to college homework.

AliceLynn said...

I think the books shouldn't be banned because you adults always want us to be reading (coming from an 8th grader), and when we do find something unteresting like these books you want to take them away. Isn't that kind of redundant? Oh well, we have them in our library anyway.

Anonymous said...

I can express how sad it makes me, to think that these harmless books are being challenged. I remember reading them in school as a child. I remember owning my own copies.

I will totally allow my children to read these. In fact I may go out and buy them a set for Halloween.

Anonymous said...

After reading several comments, though i should get back to my english essay, i felt the need to say that though this book should not be banned, it should be regulated by parents. Scary stories are written so that readers can feel suspense and fright, which should go away after realization that it was all fictional or supernatural. If you continue to get scared, then scary stories are not suited for you, though it doesn't mean that it isn't suited for everyone.
I can personally say that the artwork in this scared the crap out of me when i was young, but it doesn't anymore. Perhaps it is because I've grown up?

more anonymous people. said...

parents should pay attention to what kids are reading. it's the kids choice to read what they want. they can see from the title that it is scary. if they are scared the parents should suggest not to read scary things.

Anonymous said...

this book should not be banned. for it is your choice to 'read' this book for it was your cuiosity to grab the book and start reading it. there for it is not that the book made you feel scared, for it was you who made yourself scared by reading this book.

Anonymous said...

These books are amazing!!! I remember readig them when i was younger. Thanks to these books i actually like to read now. Kids these days dont read as it is, if we take away the one book they are willing to read, who knows if they will ever pick up a book again. Plus kids always do the opposite of what they are told, so the more we tell them NOT to read these books, the more they are gonna want to read them