The Chocolate War

Who knew that The Chocolate War had references to homosexuality?  I sure didn’t and I’ve read it.  I had to re-read it just to see what I missed.  Sure enough – gay references – NOT!

My copy of The Chocolate War is 189 pages long.  Around page 165 one bully called another kid, poor Jerry, a fairy.  Jerry of course denied this and was enraged because who likes to be called names, particularly when you are not, in fact, queer.  Then the bully and his gang proceeded to beat the crud out of poor Jerry.  A few pages later bully asks the evil mastermind, Archie, if Jerry was really gay.  "Of course not!  It only works to call people what they aren’t, otherwise they don’t get as angry." duh.

I’m annoyed that 40 parents wanted this book pulled because of "references to homosexuality"  This is not a book with "gay themes".  And it annoys the heck out of me that these people fought to pull this book, for this reason, and the Harford County School District has agreed. 

I bet those 40 parents have kids who are bullies.  I bet those 40 parents have kids who love nothing better than calling other kids "queer".  Wanna bet?

I’d love to tell you to celebrate GLBT PRIDE month by reading The Chocolate War with your kids, out loud, but I can’t.  This is not a gay book.  You should, however, read it out loud to your kids because it’s a great book about bullying.    Take a peek at some of the resources available online for teaching The Chocolate War:

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2 responses to “The Chocolate War

  1. Unbelievable. Book censorship makes me SO ANGRY. What you’ve got is parents who are afraid that their kids might ask what it means when the boy is called “fairy”, and then the parents might have to explain to their kids that it is a derogative word for a homosexual, and THEN the parents might have to explain what that means! Oh noes! I’m putting that book on my 10 year old son’s summer reading list.

  2. Some very great books (imo) have been challenged. This includes the Chronicles of Narnia which was written by a Christian. Even if I think they’re silly for protesting a book. I would still defend a parent and/or community’s right to decide what should and shouldn’t be placed in a school library. School library resources are finite and the community and especially the parents should have a say in what’s in the library. It’s not censorship as the book is still available for purchase. Having said that, this sounds like a worthwhile book. I may check it out sometime for my older dc.

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