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When I first heard about Shel Silverstein, I was about 7 years old. My favorite poem in the plethora of books was "I Cannot Go To School Today." The poem is about girl who fakes being sick so she can not go to school. What is so funny about the poem is the dramatic approach she takes to then realize that she went through so much effort for nothing.

What I loved about this poem was the message and the story. I did not really realize the internal rhyming or the conversational words that he used that helped the poem so easy to follow.

The other book that I read from Shel Silverstein was "The Giving Tree"

Shel's books banned?

Believe it or not Silverstein's books were among many that were challenged as banned books.
"The book was locked away in Boulder, Colorado's Public Library in 1988 because the librarian considered the book sexist."
There are many cases where this book had been challenged. To name just a few: "at the elementary schools in the Papillion-LaVista School District in Omaha, Nebraska because the book promotes :behavior abusive to women and children, suicide as a way to manipulate parents, mockery of God, and selfish and disrespectful behavior." In West Mifflin Pennsylvania schools the book was challenged because the poem "Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony is 'morbid.' "
The book was challenged in "West Allis-West Milwaukee, Wis. school libraries because the book 'suggests drug use, the occult, suicide, death, violence, disrespect for the truth, disrespect for legitimate authority, rebellion against parents,' and because it inspires young people to commit 'acts of violence, disbelief, and disrespect.' Challenged in Bloomsburg, Pa because a poem titled, "Dreadful" talks about how 'someone at the baby.' "

Though Silverstein's book may seem as harsh to some and a bad influence, I respect Shel and his great talent. He introduced poetry to children and his book are still stacked on my bookshelf at home.


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