• James McGee

They're at it again...

Caught this on the CBS News website and it's been picked up by a few newspapers in the UK.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s classic novel about racism and the American south, has been removed from a junior-high reading list in a Mississippi school district because the language in the book “makes people uncomfortable”.

The Sun Herald reported that administrators in Biloxi pulled the novel from the 8th-grade curriculum this week.

From the Guardian:

'An email to the Sun Herald from a concerned reader referred to the book’s use of the word “nigger” when it said the school board’s decision was made “mid-lesson plan”. “The students will not be allowed to finish the reading of To Kill A Mockingbird,” the email said “… due to the use of the ‘N’ word.”'

It's not the first time this has happened. The book was withdrawn from schools in Virginia, USA, in 2016.

Being of an inquiring mind, I went onto the American Library Association website - http://www.ala.org - which has pages dedicated to banned & challenged books, listed by year: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/about

It makes fascinating reading. There's everything there from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and The Lord of The Rings trilogy through to Sophie's Choice, The Great Gatsby and Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging.

I swear I'm not making the last one up. The late Louise Rennison is one of the authors whose books have been listed.

Now, it would take up too much space to start cherry picking other notable titles so, instead, I took a gander at To Kill a Mockingbird's Amazon page to see what other less- than-enthusiastic readers might have written in their reviews. Here's a small, random selection taken from the list of 1* opinions. The bold type reflects the review heading. Oh, and the grammar is as it appears in the review and isn't due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys.


It really really really really really really bad. I shall never read any books from this author again. Not recommend

Contained some good details but there really isn't much in here that:

Didn't find it that helpful.. contained some good details but there really isn't much in here that you can't find online/ won't have given to you by your teacher.

One Star:

Not worth the effort of reading it.

Dated and overrated:

THE worst book I had the misfortune of reading. So boring I didn't read the last few chapters. Like most 'classics' grossly overrated zzzzzz.


I hate this book and went to theatre to watch it which re-affirmed my dislike of this story-line.

What a yawn!:

What a yawn. I'm curious to know what makes a book a classic. I found this book slow and tedious. Part one doesn't appear to have any bearing on part two. The start of Part two, really caught my imagination. I was hooked, this book suddenly, from no where became a page turner. But...just as quickly as the pages began turning, they stopped again.

Saw it in half:

if Harper lee forgot to write the first half it would have been great but its now just a bore and now i am going to have to write an essay on this book. i dont know why it became a classic.

Overrated books:

This book is the most overrated book ever published. Much loved by stupid American academic lefties, it has no merit - very childish. Then, silly me, there is a black man involved therefore, it must be good.

One Star:

I can't find it on my Kindle