Helpful Censor

I’ve seen a lot of different types of censorship in the library, from a patron demanding that a book be removed from the shelves, to permanent markings through objectionable words, to pictures cut out of books. But, this is the first time I’ve seen a “helpful censor” use correction tape to cover over the the words and phrases and then, in several cases, offer “better” word choices.

The one book brought to my attention was the Spiderwick Chronicles. Now, just off the top, I couldn’t remember anything particularly dicey in this series, so I was surprised when our children’s librarian came forward with the evidence.

Here are some specific (and apparently, hotly contested) examples of impropriety:

  • divorce was replaced with the words, “had moved.”
  • crappier was replaced with “only older.”
  • candy butt was simply covered up.
  • “Crap” said Jered was replaced with “Jered was looking around.”
  • not as crappy was replaced with “older Mallory but nearly…” and,
  • “Oh Crap!” was simply covered up.

I guess I’m appreciative of the thoughtfulness of the censor for using correction tape that could be peeled off again bringing the book back to its savage original.

But, I do worry, what will we find when the young reader wants to graduate to something really deleterious like “It’s Not the Stork” or “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things.”

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1 Comment »

  1. Jennifer Said:

    Yikes! What next? I guess they just never thought of choosing a different book?


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