Banned and Challenged Books

Why was how to eat fried worms banned from the library?


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The novel was banned for two primary reasons, each of which raised a great deal of concern in front of many school boards in the 1990s.

First, the book encouraged children to partake in socially unacceptable activities. In this book, the activity is eating worms, which is perceived as being disgusting and not socially acceptable. Thus, concerned parents argued that this book encourages such disgusting antisocial behavior.

Second, the book encouraged children to bet on things, or in essence gamble. Since gambling is perceived as an activity of low morals and also presents the risk for great economic loss, it was felt that impressionable children could begin to fall down the slippery slope of gambling because of this book.

Both concerns meet at one central point: they both assume that the book is doing the parenting and not the parents. By laying the blame for antisocial behavior and other activities that a parent might not approve of on an otherwise strong piece of youth fiction, the parents miss the point that they are in fact responsible for the raising and morals of their own children.