THE TROUBLE WITH MOTHERS by Margery Facklam

THE TROUBLE WITH MOTHERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

When the ""Crusade for a Clean America"" comes to town, eighth-grader Luke Troy finds himself more involved in the censorship battle than he wants to be. As an English assignment, Luke interviews Major Madison, who is promoting his book--The Cleaning of America--and then finds that he has unwittingly embroiled his mother in a fight to keep her own novel in the 12th-grade history curriculum. Through the TV interviews, meetings, and demonstrations that ensue, Luke finds the town, his swim team, and his family increasingly hot-tempered and at odds. His embarrassed freactions to the attention directed at his mother are well-drawn, as are those of another swim-team member whose mother is a leader of the censors. When Luke finally reads his mother's book, he understands why the challenged passages are necessary to her message and is able to respect and support her. Facklam touches on important issues: censors who condemn books they haven't read; conflict between curriculum and parental values; intellectual freedom vs. book-burnings. Her characters are believable; some of the scenes (especially the swim meets) are atmospheric. She doesn't actually resolve the battle, leaving readers something to think about. Not an in-depth discussion of censorship, but a good jumping-off place for it.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1989
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Clarion/Houghton Mifflin