Saturday, October 12, 2013

ANS -- Neil Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’ Banned at New Mexico High School

a very short article, but if you read it, read the comments too, at least the long one from the person who knows the situation first hand.  It's the second one. 
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Neil Gaiman's 'Neverwhere' Banned at New Mexico High School

By SLJ on October 11, 2013 5 Comments

Neverwhere 185x300 Neil Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’ Neil Gaiman's dark urban fantasy novel Neverwhere has been removed from both the school library and the required reading list at Alamogordo (NM) High School this week following the complaint of one parent, who objected to its sexual innuendos and "harsh" language, according to a report by New Mexico's local KRQE news station.

The mother said she was shocked that her daughter was asked to read the book, and her complaints last week to the school board led to its removal, KRQE reported. According to KRQE, this is the first complaint that Alamogordo school officials have gotten about the book since it was added to the school's curriculum in 2004.

After hearing news of the ban, author Gaiman asked on Twitter: "Is anyone fighting back?"

Gaiman originally wrote Neverwhere as a BBC TV series, which aired in 1996, and adapted it the following year into a novel. It was recently broadcast as a radio play for the BBC's Radio 4.

In its original review of the book, Library Journal said, "Gaiman's gift for mixing the absurd with the frightful give this novel the feeling of a bedtime story with adult sophistication. Readers will find themselves as unable to escape this tale as the characters themselves. Highly recommended."


  1. [] Elizabeth Moon says: October 12, 2013 at 1:34 am
    It always amazes and angers me that one parent can get a book banned that has been in the library for years, being read without a problem, that other parents aren't bothered by…why does that one person have so much power? Granted, I read Neverwhere first as an adult–but had I read it in high school, it would not have done me any harm. (I read Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet in high school–on my own, not an assignment–and that one was…far more shocking than Neverwhere.)
    Libraries should be protected from these book ban bigots. Reply
    • [] Kathy Wallis says: October 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm
      I would like everyone to know that the teachers in the English Dept at Alamogordo HS do not agree with the knee jerk reaction of pulling Neverwhere from the Dept. library. It has been successful as a supplemental novel and since our goal is to get students engaged and encourage their thinking, this novel is a keeper ­ the students love it. The passage the parent is referring to is not graphic, but it is an adult type situation…a very briefly visited one.
      I am sorry our school administrators did not stand up and support the material the way we all would have expected them to do. Also, as much as we hate to expose anyone for not speaking the truth, this parent had publicly stated that the school was "forcing" her student to read the novel (not true), and she also stated that the school never offered her daughter an alternate selection when she objected to Neverwhere. This statement is one that we will vehemently deny. The mother is stating inaccurate comments publicly. I work with the teacher in question – a very capable and intelligent young woman that is an asset to the English Dept.- and she immediately provided an alternate novel to the student as soon as the mother made the first known objection to Gaiman's novel.
      We simply cannot stand for banning a book for hundreds of students this year and in the years to come because a single parent objected over one brief passage on ONE page. Making inaccurate comments about the teacher (whom the parent chose not to even meet, but publicly disrespected her and questioned her credentials in spite of that), saying we forced anyone to read a text she objected to, or stating that no alternative assignment was offered is absolutely false. Teachers are sensitive to the needs of their students.
      Our students have enjoyed Gaiman's novel for almost ten years, and it saddens us to think that our future students will not have the same opportunity.
      The teachers in the English Dept are opposed to any form of censorship. This situation is being handled incorrectly, it makes our school and our town appear as if we are fine with suspending the use of a book that is used by middle and high schools across the country and around the globe. We are not fine with it, and we want people to know that. Reply
      • [] Marie says: October 12, 2013 at 7:26 pm
        Bravo. *claps* Well said. Thank you for speaking out publicly about this. Reply
      • [] MaryEllen says: October 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm
        Well said!! I hope your administrators listen to you and reverse this stupid decision. Clearly this parent is engaging in some sort of vendetta and a clear message needs to be sent that publicly lying about the teacher and the policies will not be tolerated. Reply

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