Challenged Books: Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan DeShea Jones LSIS 5525-OL2 Summer 2010 They only wanted to scare their English teacher, not kill him. Even the best-laid plans sometimes go wrong. Killing Mr. Griffin Info Duncan, Lois. Killing Mr. Griffin. New York: Bantum Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, 1978. Print. Genre: Thriller Interest Level:Young Adult (middle and high school) Plot A group of students decide to who decide to carry out a prank on their English teacher to get back at him for being so tough. However, the students do not realize the teacher has a heart problem and he dies after they have kidnapped him. One of the students is not mentally stable and ends up killing someone else as well Susan, is the character of reason, but she still gets roped into the plot. Assessment of the Book Well written and entertaining to read Is suspenseful Duncan does a nice job of showing the different perspectives of the characters and has great character development Does not give much detail on the consequences for the student’s actions Richard Peck in New York Times Book Review commented that “The value of the book lies in the twisted logic of the teenagers and how easily they can justify anything“ (Lois Duncan). The ending of the book becomes too melodramatic (Lois Duncan) Overall the book is a great read. Challenge Info Killing Mr. Griffin has been challenged numerous times- read and challenged since its publication in 1978 From 1990-1999 Killing Mr. Griffin was number 64 on the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Book list and 25 on the 2000-2009 list. Has been challenged at school and public libraries Reasons for Challenge There are two swear words in the book However, parents objected to the plot of the book, meaning student kidnapping and killing their teacher (Harper). Some parents did not feel it is appropriate for middle school students, only high school students (Harper) Reasons for Inclusion in Collection On the ALA’s Best of the Best Books for Young Adults list in 1978 and 1994 (Harper) The book discusses peer pressure and why students should not do something they know is wrong (Harper). Book also discusses acceptance, leadership, responsibility, and revenge Book is well written and entertaining What to do if Challenged 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Review the selection policy of the library Review the complaint, maybe discuss the situation with the person who filed the complaint Discuss the situation with my administrator Check the policies of the profession (ALA website) Gather resources on the book (reviews, info on awards, etc.) Re-read the title Keep the material in the collection until a decision is made Create the argument for keeping the book in the collection Resources Harper, Jennifer. Challenged Book Chosen for Library Book Club. Summit Daily News, 23 Sept. 2005. Web. 11 June 2010. <http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20050923/AE/10 9230043>. "Lois Duncan." Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults, 2nd ed., 8 vols. Gale Group, 2002. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2007.