Week 11: Multicultural Lit & Poetry

Book Selection:

  1. Silverstein, Shel. (1981). A light in the attic. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.


Controversies: According to the ALA website, A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein is on the Frequently Challenged Children’s Books List. Additionally, an article titled “Tyranny of Parents: Banning Shel Silverstein” by Antonio Aiello, as found on Pen America’s website, explained how the book was banned in cities like Huffman, TX, and Mukwonago, WI, because some of the poems in the collection “exposes children to the horrors of suicide” and “glorified Satan, suicide, and cannibalism.”

Book Review #3:

Silverstein, Shel. (1981). A light in the attic. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

“Put something silly in the world / That ain’t been there before.” These last two lines of the poem “Put Something In” describe Shel Silverstein’s collection of poems as a whole: silly, unique and inspiring. The 130 rhyming poems are written with an easy-to-read typeface and are accompanied by imaginative pen-drawn illustrations. Ranging from the absurd to the poignant, Silverstein’s poems are simple and silly enough to appeal to kids ages 5 and up, and yet have a timeless depth that appeals to all. The important themes of death, obedience, imagination, dreams, unfairness, emotions, etc. are illustrated through rhyme, rhythm, repetition, word play and the drawings, which ultimately exposes kids to poetry in a fun and easy way and inspires them to learn, imagine, create and think for themselves.


Aiello, Antonio. (2013, Oct. 11). Tyranny of parents: Banning Shel Silverstein. Retrived from https://pen.org/tyranny-of-parents-banning-shel-silverstein/


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