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Sex, Sadism, and Murder

wasted years cover

The Wasted Years
Stearn
1968 (original copyright 1959)

Earlier this year we published a post about teen sex depravity, or what I like to call “nonfiction erotica.” A serious subject is presented with “facts” and reporting that is salacious at best. This book is no different. A quick search says that Stern made a career of writing these kinds of books. I actually get a kick out of these old books, mostly for interesting cover art and the sensational headlines and book blurbs. Evidently this teen mayhem was ubiquitous during the 50s.  Reading these books makes me really question what my mother was doing as a teen in the 1950s

Shocking indeed!

Mary

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Friday Fiction – Galactic Aliens

Galactic Aliens coverGalactic Aliens
Frank
1979

Submitter: A student brought the following book to our attention for review and weeding…because he wanted it. Why is this book awful? Well, it is a book that claims to be the most important book since The Bible. It is bad science fiction from 1979. We are an academic library so I’m not sure why we still had the book. My guess is that it was hiding among the quality science fiction.

Holly: I had to dig a bit to figure this one out. It is a fiction book that is formatted like a non-fiction catalog of alien beings. The author is a horror film critic. So, unless you have a run on sci-fi about intergalactic confederations and alien life, you can probably let this one go now.  It might have done well in a teen department in a public library in the early 1980s, but it seems like an odd choice for an academic library.

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Rolling Harvey Down the Hill

Rolling Harvey down the Hill coverRolling Harvey Down the Hill
Prelutsky
1980

Submitter: This is another children’s book that was initially pulled because of its condition. It has had a lot of circulation since it was acquired in 1989 but only 2 circulations in 20 years. On closer inspection, the book sent up all kinds of red flags. The “story” is about a group of boys who are friends told through poetry. The book could easily be renamed “Boys will be boys,” but it is pretty hard to excuse the bad behavior described in the book. They pick on and make fun of other children, attempt smoking, fight, break windows, pick noses, etc. Harvey has the worst behavior and goes so far as to tie two of his friends to a tree and pull their pants down! Finally, the other boys become fed up with Harvey and decide to roll him down the hill.

I have a pretty low tolerance for books that actual encourage bullying and hurting of kids by other kids. I suppose at one time this could have been nostalgic or even a boys will be boys kind of book, but not anymore.

Holly: Awwww, Jack Prelutsky  was one of my favorite authors when I was a kid <*cough* 30+ years ago *cough*>. His books are funny and the poetry format is enticing to reluctant readers. That said, bullying is a serious subject. Rolling Harvey down the hill in retaliation probably isn’t the message we’re trying to send these days. Not that it ever was, but we have different sensibilities about these things now than we did in 1980.

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