The Glass Castle

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Artist: Jeannette Walls

Year: 2012

Date of Action: December 4, 2012

Region: North America

Location: Traverse City, Michigan

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Sexual/Gender Orientation, Violence, Youth

Medium: Literature

Confronting Bodies: Parents

Description of Artwork: The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls, is an autobiographical memoir of Walls’ and her siblings’ unconventional and poverty-stricken upbringing at the hands of deeply dysfunctional parents.

The Incident: Parents of a 9th grader at Traverse City West Senior High School, in Michigan, asked school officials to have a book banned from the freshman honors English summer reading list. The parents object to the content of the memoir: explicit language, references to child molestation, adolescent sexual exploits, and violence as it recounts the author’s experiences growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who suffered from mental illness.

Results of Incident: The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education rejected the recommendation to remove a memoir from the freshman honors English summer reading list.