Vonnegut Library Steps Into Fray Over Banned Books in Missouri


The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in the author's hometown of Indianapolis is stepping up to assist high-school students in the small southwestern Missouri town of Republic.

Last month the school district in Republic announced that it would pull Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five from the high-school library because language and depictions in the novel on World War II were viewed as too graphic for teens.

School officials also banned Sarah Ockler's Twenty Boy Summer after complaints from a parent who found it offensive. Oddly enough, that parent, Wesley Scroggins, is also a professor at Missouri State University who reportedly home schools his children.

The Vonnegut library says it plans to give away 150 editions of Slaughterhouse Five to students in Republic. So far, at least four have taken the library up on the offer. Julia Whitehead, director of the Vonnegut library, tells the Associated Press that she believes students who are almost old enough to vote and fight in wars are responsible enough to handle Vonnegut's classic novel about war.