BBW Day 4- Forever by Judy Blume

In honor of Banned Books Week I am highlighting a different banned book each day of the event (maybe even more!) here on my blog.  I’m also hosting a Banned Books Week giveaway

Banned Book: Forever Judy Blume

Where/Why It’s Been Banned:  “Challenged in the Fayetteville, Ark. Middle and Junior High School libraries (2005). The complainant also submitted a list of more than fifty books, citing the books as too sexually explicit and promoting homosexuality. Source: Sept. 2005, p. 215.” (Taken from ala.org)

Why It Should Be Read: First of all, it’s been a few years since I’ve read Forever, but I don’t remember anything that promotes homosexuality.  Maybe someone who’s read this more recently can fill me in on this.  The other part of the challenge says it’s too sexually explicit.  Yes, Katherine and Michael experiment and have sex.  Yes, there are a few scenes in which the couple is sexually active.  But is that the whole point of the story?  No.  Forever is about first love between a teenage couple. 

Many of the girls in my classes check out my copy and then have their friend(s) read it.  Like many of the books I have and am going to highlight this week, Forever is a book that’s successful with my reluctant readers.  That really shouldn’t be surprising considering how many teenagers are in “I love you” relationships and having sex.  Many of the girls in these relationships are so caught up in everything that they think they’ll be with their boyfriend forever.  Is that the case most times?  No.  The story isn’t any different in Forever.  Teenage girls should read this book so they can experience Katherine’s first love before they experience their own.  Or so they can learn how to deal with a serious relationship if they’re currently in one.  Girls aren’t going to be reading this and learning to have sex (there’s plenty of that in TV).  They’ll read this and learn that just because they’re “in love” doesn’t mean they should have sex because they may not be with their boyfriend forever.  This may be surprising to some, but there are legitimate lessons to be learned from Forever.

Student Response: This is from one of my freshmen girls, Taylor- “Forever is actually a really good book.  It’s great for teenagers and helps you connect with the problems going on in the story.  Plus, it proves good points about relationships and the different situations involved.”

 

 

Comments

  1. Tristan Bishop says:

    LOVE this book! The homosexuality part is his best friend. He thinks he might be a homosexual and Katherine’s friend Erika is helping him out with it but I would say that the book defenitely does not promote it..
    And I have to say that I can understand why a parent might not wanting their child to read this. But, it teaches a very good lesson at the end that every girl should understand. So that’s why they should let them read it. So they can see that it’s not just their parents saying things might not last forever.

  2. Mrs. Andersen says:

    Tristan, I am so glad you pointed out that teens will read Forever and hear it from another source besides their parents 🙂 And thank you for the clarification about the homosexuality; I remember that now after reading what you wrote.

I love comments!

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