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poetry

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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Real Men Like Poetry

rough men tough men cover

Rough Men, Tough Men
Poems of Action and Adventure
Cole, ed.
1969

This book caught my eye for both the title and the cover art. I think  the orange pirate look on the guy is a bit creepy. I also want to remind the editor that ladies can be rough, tough and appreciate a bit of blood and gore in their poetry as well.

The poetry itself is from a variety of authors, including Shakespeare, Tennyson and Swift. There is a lot of good stuff here, but the packaging is geared to elementary school boys from the late 1960s.

Mary

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Purrrfect Poetry

Honorable Cat coverHonorable Cat
Gallico
1982

Submitter: This book isn’t just poetry about cats – It’s poetry from the viewpoints of cats. The poems are cute and extremely ridiculous. The most outrageous part is the author’s discussion at the beginning of the book on whether cats are “womany, and vice versa.” Women can be “catty”, you know! – yuck. Mostly though, the book hasn’t been checked out in many years, so it had to go.

Holly: Author of “The Silent Miaow”? I’ve gotta look that one up! I guess this one falls in the category of “there’s something for everyone.” It’s definitely…eccentric. I’d weed it for lack of interest if it hasn’t checked out in many years, but these are the kinds of “awful” library books that I can actually get on board with. I like the idea of a few oddball items in the collection for those oddball patrons who dig them. It’s not harmful or wrong, just weird. Of course, if shelf space is at a premium and/or your objective is for a truly popular materials collection, it should go. No one will miss it.

 

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