Patricia McCormick


In the novel, Cut by Patricia McCormick, we get to look into the mind and emotions of Callie, a 15-year-old girl that struggles with self-harm, a patient at Sea Pines residential facility. Callie, along with her friends in the facility, Sydney, Tara, Becca, Debbie, Tiffany, and Amanda learn how to face their problems and overcome their addictions. The story is told from Callie’s point of view, she is a quiet girl in the beginning that doesn’t talk because she is scared that what she has to say is better left in her head, but she learns that keeping silent won’t help her leave the facility. Sydney is Callie’s roommate and struggles with a drug addiction. Callie not talking doesn’t faze Sydney; she still befriends her and treats her like another person in the facility and cares about her. Sam is Callie’s younger brother; he is in third grade and has bad asthma that keeps him from going to school. He is a happy kid that is confused as to why his sister isn’t at home. Even though Callie doesn’t talk Sam talks for both of them when they interact and play connect four together. The Psychiatrist is never actually names but she is kind towards Callie by understanding of Callie not wanting to talk and respects it. She tries to get Callie to open up to her and the other girls in the group by starting to talk.


This book was banned in 2004 by two school districts. The first is Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Houston, Texas by Goodson Middle School Library. It was challenges because of the belief that the character’s self-mutilation would cause readers to do it too. In result the book was made for only seventh- and eighth- graders to checkout. The other school district was Texas Youth Commission in Corsicana, Texas by students in the Corsicana Residential Treatment Center. In result of the challenge the book was banned due to self-destructive behavior.


This book is very visual and the imagery used when writing this book makes it possible to trigger people who have or are struggling with self-harm. But with the story being very uplifting and inspiring for the same group of people I do not believe that this book should be banned. The book is written facing the reality that there are people in this country, in the world, that struggle with different addictions and need help.