(Even if he's a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author...)
Of Mice And Men Synopsis
George often worries and acts with Lennie's well-being in mind, but he can't control Lennie's actions when they aren't together. Then Lennie makes a grave mistake and forces George's hand.
John Steinbeck and Of Mice And Men
The National Steinbeck Center states, "Despite its long-term popularity, Of Mice and Men was banned in many schools and libraries for vulgarity and what some consider offensive and racist language. The novella appears on the American Library Association's Most Challenged Books of the 21st Century. Nevertheless, Of Mice and Men is one of Steinbeck's works most frequently taught in school."
The Los Angeles Times Reports On A Recent Of Mice And Men Ban Attempt
An Exerpt Of A Teacher-Inspired Review on The School Library Journal
"When asked why he studies John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men with his students, Matthew Kalafat responds, “it get kids thinking—critically,” and notes that the debates that follow allow his 8th graders to become “more confident, more engaged readers.” Both Kalafat and Derrick Nelson are educators featured in Penguin’s recently released Of Mice and Men: Teacher’s Deluxe Edition ($11.99; Gr 8 Up), available on a variety of electronic devices. Along with video commentary from the two, the iBook contains the full text of Steinbeck’s novel, a lengthy introduction by Susan Shillinglaw; the Robert Burns’s poem from which the book title derives (“To a Mouse, On Turning Her up in Her Nest with the Plough, November 1785,”); and the text of Steinbeck’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech."
Teacher's quoted in this review go on to say that the novel prompts students to think of abstract ideas that still affect human interaction today, such as loneliness, a sense of belonging, and how to people with mental disabilities can be and are often treated.
Grabarek, D. (2013). Deluxe and Digital - Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men. School Library Journal. Retrieved from: http://www.slj.com/2013/02/technology/applications/deluxe-and-digital-steinbecks-of-mice-and-men/#_
Editorial Review from Amazon.com
“Brutality and tenderness mingle in these strangely moving pages. . . . The reader is fascinated by a certainty of approaching doom.”—Chicago Tribune
”A short tale of much power and beauty. Mr. Steinbeck has contributed a small masterpiece to the modern tough-tender school of American fiction.”—Times Literary Supplement[London]
In addition to this novel lending itself for in-depth analysis, it also allows the student to study author's craft and style. Steinbeck weaves his lyrical descriptive style of writing with his more raw, controversial use of colloquialisms in dialogue. Parents may object to the use of vulgarity and profanity, but I would argue that this aspect of literature enables the student to evaluate and judge one of the hardest concepts present in standardized testing: author's purpose and author's craft.
Other Banned Steinbeck Books...
Sharyland Independent School District's Instructional Materials Policy
Sharyland Independent School District includes procedures for any member of the community to submit a book challenge. As educators, it is important to be familiar with the policy. Reconsideration Policy
This is an excerpt regarding challenged materials.
Challenges to Materials
Policy Statement: The library promises to uphold the Library Bill of Rights. The bill of rights stipulates that the library should provide for the “interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community,” “should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues,” “should challenge censorship [in order to] provide information and enlightenment,” “should cooperate with all persons and groups concerns with resisting abridgement of freedom of expression and access to ideas,” the library should not deny a person’s right to use it “because of origin, age, background, or views,” and should make meeting spaces available to anyone “on an equitable basis.”
Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.
Policy Specifics: The library acknowledges and respects the users’ right to question selection materials. To help the complainant understand the selection process, we are sending copies of the district’s
Instructional goals and objectives
Materials Selection Policy statement
Procedure for Handling Objections
Should the complainant choose to pursue the complaint, the following form must be filled out.
Name ___________________________ Date ___________________________
Address _________________________ City ___________________________
State ___________________________ Zip ___________________________
Do you represent self? ____ Organization? ____
1. Resource on which you are commenting:
____ Book ____ Textbook ____ Video ____ Display ____ Magazine ____ Library Program
____ Audio Recording ____ Newspaper ____ Electronic Information/Network (please specify):
2. What brought this resource to your attention?
3. Have you examined the entire resource?
4. What concerns you about the resource? (use other side or additional pages if necessary)
5. Are there resource(s) you suggest to provide additional information and/or other viewpoints on this topic?
Revised by the American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee, June 27, 1995.
Please be sure to completely fill out this form. Only completed forms will be evaluated.
If the complaint is resolved informally, the identity of the complainant will remain confidential.
The governing bodies of the library, the campus administration, the district librarian, and the school board will evaluate this complaint and reach a formal solution.
A report of the findings will be sent to the complainant.
Should the complainant be dissatisfied with the verdict, the complainant has the right to appeal the decision of the committees to the superintendent of schools and the district school board.
Woolls, B. et al. (2013-12-09). The school library manager: Fifth Edition (Library and Information Science Text Series). ABC-CLIO. Kindle Edition.
Workbook for selection policy writing. (2013). Accessed on September 24, 2016 http://www.ala.org/bbooks/challengedmaterials/preparation/workbook-selection-policy-writing