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The Day They Came to Arrest the Book
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The Day They Came to Arrest the Book

3.15 of 5 stars 3.15  ·  rating details  ·  290 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Who would have believed that The Adventure ofHuckleberry Finn could cause the worst crisis in thehistory of George Mason High School? Certainly notBarney Roth, editor of the school paper. But whena small but vocal group of students and parentsdecide that the book is racist, sexist, andimmoral--and should be removed from reading lists and theschool library--Barney takes mat ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 1st 1983 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1982)
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Morgan Deiseroth
This is a fantastic book. I say that a lot about books, but this time I truely mean it. It talks about a school that is in debate as to weather or not to ban "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" from both a history classes required reading list, as well as the library. They debate censorship and the limits of the first amendment. This is a wonderful book for anyone and everyone who actually has their own opinion. As well as for those who need to learn to have their OWN opinion. This book teaches ...more
Cait Grace
This is a distressing book -- and I mean that in a good way.

Not only does it put forth many views on "rights" and "freedom", it does it in an easy to understand, clear way. You can't miss the views this novel displays. And that's a good thing. At the beginning, I wondered how a story could be woven out of a school wanting to ban a book. By the end, I was engrossed and desperately wanting to know who would win.

The way the book displays views -- without being biased and clearly stating both side
...more
jacky
This was way better than expected, which might be why I gave it a four rather than a three. The story followed several different characters as it tells about the story of a community trying to ban Huck Finn. I think this would be very interesting for some of my student who have a hard time seeing both sides of the issue or who have interest about censorship and banning in general.
Misty
I work in a middle school library, and this book was recommended by the School Librarian Association. It was pretty interesting, mostly in that Hentoff never completely closed the issue of who wins or loses in a censorship fight. I'd definitely steer my students toward it.
Arielle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leslie
Censorship is dangerous because once you take one book from the shelves it could lead to another and another, and where does it end? Even the bible has passages that someone might look at in isolation and call into question as offensive and inappropriate. The pupose of education is to expose students to ideas of all kinds and to teach them how to discern the good from the bad, the valuable from the rubish. Books are filled with ideas of all kinds and by limiting those ideas which we allow our ch ...more
Sam
When I first came across this book the title instantly had me hooked. "Why would any book be arrested?" I thought, but I soon learned that "arresting" a book meant that the book was to be censored. I think this book does a good job showing how censorship is very controversial no matter how small people think it should be. In this particular story the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was put on trial because Gordon McLean was furious when he saw the word choice in Huck Finn by saying, "wha ...more
Haleigh
Oct 24, 2011 Haleigh rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Haleigh by: Mrs. Ott
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Baron
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Jessica
This book is about how obnoxious people can be when they insist that they are absolutely right. Also, that sometimes it is useful to have a schizophrenic chairing the school board.

Okay, not really. It's a good book to get people thinking about the issue of censorship in schools and although it's obvious whose side the author is on, it does a good job of presenting all sides of the argument. I can't wait to read the thrilling sequel about the following year's school board election.
Kristina
What a fascinating fictional book about censorship in schools!

The book is written for a young adult audience, but I think anyone could benefit from reading it. It is about a father who tries to get Huckleberry Finn removed from a school because of racial words used in the book. When some teachers and the librarian refuse the principles request to appease this parent, more groups get involved saying that the book is also sexist, or immoral. As the battle grows, the students are pitted against eac
...more
Emma
I really enjoyed reading this book. The ignorance of some of the adult characters drove me insane and angered me greatly. Not because it was wrong, but because it was right. There were characters I wanted to shout at and characters for which I wanted to applaud. I will never forget this book and will use it as a reference if I ever find myself facing the unfairness of literary censorship.
Olivia
The Day They Came to Arrest the Book is a wonderful example of censorship. This book begins with one of the main characters Nora Baines's assigning her social studies class to read the novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. After an offended black student complains to his father that he is bothered by the continuous use of the word 'nigger', his father takes it upon himself to challenge and attempt to ban Mark Twain's famous piece of literature "Huckleberry Finn." Several students from George Mas ...more
Jennifer W
I've never before thought 'this writing is horrible' and 'this writing is great' while reading the same book. The dialogue between characters is stilted and cheesy. This book was definitely written in the early 80s, it had that cadence. However, the parts where various characters are offering reasons and debates for and against Huck Finn were intelligent and thoughtful. I felt that the teachers and students could well be one and that same, there was no difference between them, highlighted by the ...more
Gail
Nice enough story. It's about book censorship in a high school library, so it gets a little preachy. Not much with the characters, just the cause, but it's told well and the issues are presented reasonably fairly, given that it's a book about censorship. Authors tend to be automatically anti-censorship.
Mary
Published in 1982, this may not have been written as historical fiction. Were people still worried about the Communists back then? The parts of the book that refer to communists polluting the minds of our young people are the only parts that read like historical fiction.

Given the furor earlier this year over the publication of a sanitized version of Huckleberry Finn, I am surprised no one I know has read this book. In fact, there is only one school library in my district that owns it. Quite surp
...more
Anajoy-rusticgirl

Who would have believed that The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn could cause the worst crisis in the history of George Mason High School? Certainly not Barney Roth, editor of the school paper. But when a small but vocal group of students and parents decide that the book is racist, sexist, and immoral--and should be removed from reading lists and the school library--Barney takes matters into his own hands.

When the Huck Finn issue comes up for a hearing, Barney decides to print his story about previ
...more
Chinook
This is a book meant more to illustrate the various perspectives in a debate on censorship than entertain. And in that sense it does a good job. Unfortunately, though censorship, and in particular the censorship of Huckleberry Finn, is a timeless issue, this book manages to date itself. First there are the rather hilarious references to communism and a fear of the Russians. Then there are the potshots the book takes at feminism. It's not just that the feminist student is an extreme character, be ...more
Jayne
Whoever would have thought that Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn would create a furor but so it has.

Huck is part of the school curriculum's required reading but a group of students and parents take umbrage and some of the words used and another group have other issues. A call goes out to have this book removed not only from the school curriculum but also from the school library.

It's not a big book but it's big enough to call into question the first amendment, the role of censorship, and the right
...more
Quinn
Good, but had the potential to be great. The book centers on how the students, parents, and staff of a high school feel about having "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" on trial for potential censorship, but it didn't really touch on the personal lives of these people, or how they were being affected by it. The book mainly focused on the dialogue and the events, and only hinted at the "fluff" of the book that all of us bookworms love and thrive on, and what, of course, the plot/story needs in o ...more
Tiani
I thought this book was ok but if I didn't have to read it for school I would never pick it up.
Malik
This is basically a book where a small high school is fighting over whether to keep the book Huckleberry Finn or not because it says the n word. It raises some interesting points on censorship and how schools deal with it. However, while the topic is interesting, the characters and the plot do not go into much detail, and the book revolves around that one point making it not very interesting to read. However it is still on an interesting topic, so you should read it.
Carol Tensen
I had heard of this book long before I snatched up a used copy at a rummage sale. This is one of the most unevenly written books, I've ever encountered. When Hentoff is writing about First Amendment Freedoms, he is in his element. However, his narrative writing is subpar. I found the depictions of the teenagers and their dialogue missed by a mile. However, I appreciated the theme, and therefore rated it 3 stars.
Lm
I would give this book 5 stars for the message and coverage of the controversy surrounding book censorship, but the characters are one-dimensional and the dialogue is artificial. The book is written as a device for teaching about censorship and not as a story with character and plot development. Also, it's a dated title written in 1982 which would likely be a turn-off for many of my students.
John R
After reading this book i actually thought this was a true story. Basically people in a town want to ban Huckleberry Finn ad turned the entire town into a frenzy. This book further reinforces the idea of how people want to forget history on slavery and racism, but this was a part of history in which cannot be forgotten under any circumstances. I generally this is a great book, which connects to real life.
Corey
Overall, I think this book is relatively boring. It is a fictional story about a town that wants to ban Huckleberry Finn for being racist and for using swear words. The Day They Came to Arrest the Book tells more about the process of banning books and why they shouldn't be banned, and shows less of the characters' feelings and emotions. I would not recommend this book.
Emma
I really didn't like this book. I felt it was slow and boring. The plot was that an evil principle threatened to ban Hucklebarry Finn after an offended parent complained. The whole community got involved expecially Barney who fought to save the book. In the end the book went to trial and the school board elected to not ban the book. I would not recommend this book.
Benny
This book was mediocre. It had interesting issues but the actual storyline was extremely slow and boring. The idea for this book is very interesting: Should a book that is important to society be banned for bad language? The language is very neccesary in the plot-line. Overall, this book was not written well, and I do not recommend reading it.
Dana
This book is about how the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn gets banned at a school and everyone is fighting against each other trying to keep or get rid of it. It is just like the process of banning books in real life. I personally really didn't like this book because it was boring, didn't make sense, and wasn't a good book.
Jonathan
This book started out slow but got much better at the end. It is about the battle between the people who support Huck Finn and the people who want him banned throughout the school. Once you get past halfway, you will find that it is awfully hard to put down and very suspenseful. I recommend this book for all ages.
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