Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

Friday Fiction – Prey

Prey
McDaniel
2008

Submitter: This was recently weeded from a Teen Collection in a Michigan public library. For an author who’s name became synonymous with stories about teens suffering from fatal illnesses (long before John Green published Fault In Our Stars), this one was quite a departure. All things considered, it’s not surprising that it hasn’t checked out since 2011.

Prey puts a simply awful spin on the whole “Hot for Teacher” cliche: High school freshman, Ryan, and his history teacher, Ms. “Lori” Settles (who, I might add, regularly wears tight, revealing clothing and spike heels), meet and pretty much immediately begin a sexual relationship. This seems the sole focus of the book. Moral and legal consequences seem secondary. No lessons are learned and no one is really punished for what transpires. When it finally hits the fan, Lori gets off easy because she is, apparently, mentally unbalanced and because Ryan was of the “age of consent” when much of the, ahem, action took place. Oh, and the lawyer and judge were apparently seduced by how hot she was and took pity on her. Ryan doesn’t really seem to suffer from any real ill effects from the relationship either.

Alternating chapters reveal that the characters have no redeeming qualities at all: Lori tells how she picks a new student each year for such purposes and how she immediately knows Ryan is to be “the one.” Ryan is a pervert, plain and simple–far beyond the typical teen boy hormones. He is constantly talking about Lori’s physical assets, and a final (very creepy) chapter tells how he and Lori are still secretly in touch and how, this time, he is “in control.” Everyone comes across as loose or stalker-ish or both.

For such sensitive and delicate subject matter, this book seemed far too focused on the physical relationship between the characters (and even those are unimaginative). I find it hard to believe we never got any complaints about it from concerned parents. But then, it hasn’t circulated enough for that.

Holly: Maybe it would do better in the adult fiction section. I mean, I’m 40 and I loved Lurlene McDaniel when I was a teenager. It would be better to have more of a lesson to the story if it’s meant for a teen audience, but let’s be honest: there are plenty of hugely popular titles that I wish were handled differently. I think this particular choice from McDaniel might benefit from a more mature audience that likes drama, angst, and controversy in their fiction. Sounds like it really isn’t working in Submitter’s library, but they can rest easy that it is widely available through the Michigan inter-library loan system in case of a Lurlene McDaniel emergency.

More Teen Fiction Travesties:

Friday Fiction – Girl Gives Birth to Own Prom Date

Friday Fiction – Fear Street

Friday Fiction – The Town is On Fire

Friday Fiction – Paul Zindel

Nazi Nature

How Green Were the Nazis?
Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich
Ed. Bruggemeier, Cioc, and Zeller
2005

So, the Nazis got something right. Who knew?

This is probably an ok book for a university library. It sort of feels like grasping at straws to prove the Nazis weren’t the root of all evil (jury’s still out on that one), but apparently they created nature preserves and did their part for the environment.

Yay?

-Holly

 

More on the Environment

Think Green

HazMat

Ozone-Depleting Refrigerants (for Dummies)

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Parents! TV = Mind Control

Saturday Morning Mind Control
Phillips
1991

Did you know that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a cult? Did you know that the Care Bears are about non Christian attitudes and beliefs? Brace yourselves! Saturday morning TV is full of evil and it is brainwashing your kids! The back cover details how these innocent looking cartoons have a much more evil agenda.

I will tell you that one of my favorite cartoons as a kid was Casper, the friendly ghost. I was shocked to learn that this was preparing me for a life in the occult and that my life has been a waste. Excuse me while I go and reprogram myself with episodes of Scandal.

Mary

More TV Evil:

TV Will Ruin You!

Saved by the Bell

Enemies of Marriage

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