I chose the banned book That was Then, This is Now by Susan Eloise Hinton. This book published in 1971 and in the 1960’s in the bad part of Tulsa, Oklahoma. This book is banned from a lot of states, It has censored and challenged in other states. It has been banned because of its profanity, drug abuse and use, violence, and overprotective parents all over believe that their child should not be reading. Children receive worse information from other outlets so a book should the least of a parents worries.
In That was Then, This is Now, set in the 1960’s, in the “bad part” of Tulsa Oklahoma. It is mainly about two boys, Mark and Bryon who are brothers by the law because Mark’s parents are deceased. But mark being adopted isn’t even mean anything to Byron and his family since they had already been childhood bestfriends, the beginning procedures to take place at the old looking Charlie’s bar. Charlies bar is a pretty run down looking bar, everything in there looks old from the pool tables, to the bar stools, to the tables. Mark and Bryon are always in there buying cokes which they don’t regularly pay for and are starting to build up debt for and they would get beaten up if they don’t pay it back by the next day.[pg 1-4]
The main characters are Mark, Bryon, M&M, and Charlie. Bryon Douglass and Mark Jennings are childhood best friends, and Mark is Bryon’s adoptive brother since both Mark’s parents are dead. And since their family is poor that they only they make is by hustling at Charlie’s bar playing pool. This book is seemly “man versus the world” because these young men had to grow up quicker than most children and they basically have to have that “me versus the world” mentality due to the gang affiliated environment they live in. Charlie unfortunately dies due to a confrontation that happened at the pool bar. What happened was that two dangerous looking Texas challenged them to a game of pool and when they lost, they wanted to beat up Mark and Bryon for bustling them.
When Bryon and Mark proceeded to leave the bar, they got beat up with a gun and that was when Charlie came out with his shotgun and as the Texans were making an escape they fired several rounds of bullets and Charlie got hit and died. Bryon out of the group is greatly affected by Charlie’s death because he feels partially responsible. He changes for the better. Mark on the other hand just spirals downwards. Bryon finally sees that Mark has been selling drugs especially to the youth. The calls the police on him but out of genuine concern for his brother because he knows the path of selling drugs could lead to an early grave. This starts a series of turn of events and in the end the original brotherhood they had, is completely gone.
This book was written by Susan Ellison Hinton.She was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on July, 22 1948. That was Then, This is Now was completed in the summer of 1970 and it was published in november 1971. This book is banned from a lot of states, It has censored and challenged in other states. It has been banned because of its profanity, drug abuse and use, violence, and overprotective parents all over believe that their child should not be reading.
Susan Eloise Hinton was inspired by her high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her whole reason for writing for young adults, specifically young adult fiction, was because she didn’t like the literature other writers were incoparting. Her books divertered and altered the way people viewed and read young adult fiction. She was depressed during the writing process because she was experiencing writer’s block and her boyfriend at the time (now husband) was the one who encouraged her and pushed her to snap out of it.This book has gotten a lot of heat especially from parents. They believe children should not be reading about drug abuse and violence at their ages .Many parents got it censored or banned from their school districts as a whole. It is on the ALA office of intellectual freedom, most frequently challenged young adult books list.
In my opinion, this book is age appropriate for high schools because even if we are not getting this kind of information from a book, we are still regardless going to see these things on social media, on news outlets, and from television. This book should be in fact taught in schools because it shows another side of teenage adolescence and how different people do through and deal with these tough lives that they have little control over just due to the simple fact that they were born into that lifestyle. It should be available without restriction in high school. In conclusion, i believe this book is perfectly appropriate for high school students. And overall it was a well written book. It is a good read and i would definitely refer this book to friends.