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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Module 15: Go Ask Alice

Module 15: Censorship Issues

Go Ask Alice
Author: Anonymous

Book Summary:
      Go Ask Alice is based on the actual diary of a fifteen year old girl. It begins with her “normal” teenage problems of moving to a new school and finding new friends. However, when she goes back to her hometown to visit her old friends, she is invited to a party and inadvertently tries LSD. After that incident, drugs become a huge part of her world. The rest of the book follows her through the times she ran away from home, her weeks of being sober and then using again, and her various friendships and sexual conquests.
APA Book Reference:
Anonymous. (1971).Go ask Alice. New York, NY: Simon Pulse.

     I hate the idea of censorship and book challenges. However, while I think teenagers should have the right to read this book, I can see why people would challenge it. It mentions a lot of controversial topics, mostly drugs. The book goes into detail about the girl’s drug use and what happens to her when she’s on the various drugs. She even becomes a dealer at one point and sells to a nine year old boy. Despite the controversial content, I do not think this book should be banned or challenged. This book is marketed as being a real diary and an honest story. If nothing else, it could even be a cautionary tale considering what happens to the girl as a direct result of her drug use. 

Professional Review:
Kirchhoff, H.J. (2006, February 18). Paperbacks. The Globe and Mail (Canada). Retrieved from: http://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2052/hottopics/lnacademic/?verb=sr&csi=303830
“Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous, Simon Pulse, 214 pages, $9.50
This is the 35th-anniversary edition of this young adult classic, in which the anonymous teen diarist tracks her own fall from middle-class comfort to the mean streets that, ultimately, killed her.”

Library Uses:
     Go Ask Alice could be used in a library program about writing. It could be used to encourage people to keep diaries or journals as part of the writing process. The book could also be used to start a discussion about controversial topics; it could be used in a display with other books with the same type of subject matter.

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