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By Steven Otfinoski

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In Berryville, Arkansas, it was a school librarian who suffered the most. ” The school superintendent intervened and told Moore to form a review committee. She did, and the committee recommended that the book remain in the library. A few days later, Moore was summoned to the superintendent’s office for a meeting. ” Coerced by her bosses, Moore did not put Cujo back in the library. She would soon come to regret that decision. 64 Science Fiction and Fantasy The school board was divided over the banning of the book and seemed to hold Moore at least partially responsible.

Jividen nor Calitri’s daughter’s teacher heard from her about the book. Her daughter, however, did write to her teacher, explaining that she could not read the book. The teacher gave her an alternate reading assignment. ” In her response she wrote, rather strangely, “If they’re going to teach witchcraft, I think they should teach the whole thing. ” Principal Jividen and county director of special projects Janet A. Williams saw James and the Giant Peach not as a book about witchcraft but rather as an imaginative children’s classic that should remain in the school.

Besides Curses, Hexes & Spells, the challenged books included Susan Jeschke’s The Devil Did It and C. S. Lewis’s classic fantasy The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Parents and residents who opposed the challenges outnumbered those who supported them. ” Celeste Smalkin, supervisor of the schools’ media services, played down the number of challenges. “It’s something that goes on all the time, especially at the elementary level,” she explained. ” The challenges were passed on to a Criteria Review Committee made up of six teachers, six parents and residents, and two students.

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