The Golden Shadow: A Recreation of the Greek Legends
Garfield and Blishen
Illustrated by Keeping
Submitter: When I began working at my library, the Junior fiction section hadn’t been weeded in a good long while, so I had lots of work to do. When I first pulled this book off the shelf, the cover caught me off guard, but I flipped through the pages a little bit to see if it was something worth keeping. The story seemed a bit strange but then I came across the picture of the man and, well, after consensus from my assistant and several board members, we decided that it was indeed a male body part. And female body parts, young and old. And really disturbing, screaming images. And blood. And phallic snakes.
Did I mention this was in the JUNIOR fiction? The collection meant for 9 – 12 year olds? Oy. I’m pretty open and try not to be super conservative on books, but this one was a bit much even for me. It’s been in our collection since 1994 and hasn’t been checked out for at least the last 7 years. I’m confident that even adults wouldn’t read it if it was in the correct location so it’s moving on out.
Holly: This is a really strange choice for a youth fiction section! The language is not something children would be interested in or understand, for the most part. (There are always those Gifted Precious Snowflakes who love this kind of thing, or at least pretend to, God bless ‘em.) It might get a look in an adult non-fiction section (398′s), but I think it is best off in a college or university library. The images are…interesting, but very intense. I agree with submitter that they are a bit much for a youth section. Serious studiers of Greek legends or maybe even art may find this fascinating and beautiful. Eight-year-olds may be forever scarred by things they don’t understand. Fair warning before you scroll down.
More Adult-ish Content Found in Youth:
Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher
House of Crack
Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High
I am a little too old for Sweet Valley High, but I have many friends that say this is THE teen fiction of the 1980s. One librarian friend and I used to debate the merits of keeping this series in the collection. She started taking pictures of teens with the book to “prove” that it was still the best series ever. Eventually, the 80s versions were retired.
In this episode, bad girl Molly is in a tailspin of dispair ever since Regina Morrow died at her party doing a bit of cocaine. She is grounded forever and is trying to put her life together. Of course this makes her vulnerable to the bad boy drug dealer, Buzz. (He is college aged!) Naturally, running away to Mexico with this guy sounds like a plan. Will this fix her problems? Stay tuned!
If anyone cares, I had that exact hair style back in the mid 1980s.
More Fiction from the 1980s:
Mother, how could you!
Taffy Sinclair and the Romance Machine Disaster
The Girl Who Wanted a Boy
A Survival Guide from a Family of Nine: Raising a G-Rated Family in an X-Rated World
Submitter: This is a parenting book, so why it’s in a middle school library is beyond me. It might be a great book for parents, but there’s nothing in here that would benefit a 12-year old, and some things, like the “I didn’t let my kid sleep over at a friend’s house and then that friend was murdered” story is just creepy.
Holly: This is a fine book for a public library, but definitely an awful library book for a middle school library. It is completely out of place there. Its audience is not middle schoolers, but their parents. And yes, that story is creepy.
More Parenting Help:
Fix Your Gay Kids
Who’s Your Daddy
Your Baby is a Failure