*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
Oh my. Seems I have to confirm my heathen status yet again. I just didn't love this book. Which isn't the same as saying I wish I hadn't read it, of course. So no, I would not go as far as saying that I'm sorry that I chose it for one of our homeschool reads this year.
Why didn't I love it? Mostly I think it's that I'm generally not thrilled with episodic type books. And frankly, I didn't find some of the "adventures" all that interesting. Honestly, there were times when all I could think was, "Can't we just move along here?!!" But the overall story of Huck and Jim and their relationship--that I did enjoy. And I loved the way we got to watch Huck wrestle with his conflicted notions between what he grew up learning was right and what he just somehow felt was right.
But dammit...I did something that I never ever ever thought I would do in a million years. I censored a book for my kiddo. :/ See, I literally took a Sharpie to it and blacked out a sentence:
I don't feel good about it, and we'll definitely be having another discussion on censorship...though do I now have as much credibility when I tell him how emphatically I still disagree with it? It's not that I want the line stricken from the book--it's that I don't want this particular child to read it. Because I know how it would affect him. It would devastate him and send him into a state that it would take days for him to come out of. In case you're interested, here's the sentence (but to warn you, the reason is because of animal cruelty...so skip the quote if you choose):
There wasn't anything that could wake them up all over, and make them happy all over, like a dog-fight--unless it might be putting turpentine on a stray dog and setting fire to him, or tying a tin pan to his tail and see him run himself to death.
The sentence had nothing at all to do with the story. It felt completely gratuitous, and I just couldn't stomach the idea of that one damn sentence ruining not only the book for Gray, but the following few days of his life. Yes, my mega-sensitive child will have to, already does have to, face things which upset him immensely. This world is not always a pretty place. But this time, I just had to save him from the tears and the trouble sleeping that this would bring. I had to.
*sigh* It's not that I regret my actions, but I do admit it leaves me feeling a bit conflicted. Slippery slopes and all that.