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A lot of good came from our walking through these past seven months though. A major plus for us was receiving confirmation from the teachers and librarians who served on the appeal committee that many of our concerns were shared by many of them. For example:

In The Hot Zone we object (among other things) to the unnecessarily graphic, profane and crude language. Six out of eight staff committee reviews acknowledged the graphic details in the book, with 4 of them stating concern. We also object to the unscientific and unsubstantiated information in the book. Three staff members question the science in this book, with one calling it “bad science”.

In The Handmaid’s Tale we object (among other things) to the explicit and extremely sick portrayal of sex. Five out of nine teachers also had concerns. They described the sex as violent, crude, negative and controlling. There was concern for the graphic violence with sexual overtones, and two shared a concern that the sex scene would be seen as lurid if it was taken out of context.

In Sometimes a Great Notion we object (among other things) to the profane and intensely foul language, the derogatory racial slurs and the constant belittling of women. Three out of seven staff reviewers shared our concerns for the language, calling it strong or profane. Five out of the seven referred to the negative bias presented in this book - commenting on the frequent racial or sexual references, the negative references toward Blacks and Native Americans, the bias against women, or the overall multicultural content - which was called “not so good”.

For each of the seven books, there were staff reviewers who shared concerns with us.

For a compilation of the Staff Review Committee's evaluations of the seven challenged novels, which recognized the same trouble spots as the challengers recognized, see the School Board's Minority Report.

(See Minority Reports, Summary of Review Committee Comments)