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Banned Book Review: Killing Mr. Griffin

December 2, 2005

33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan

Reason: for violence and sexual content

Mr. Griffin is a tough high school English teacher who accepts nothing less than perfection from his students.  And his students hate him for it.  So much so that they plot to kidnap and scare him.  But when the kidnapping goes wrong, the 5 students get caught up in a slippery slope of cover-ups, botched alibis, and murder.  Lois Duncan writes the book mostly from the students’ point of view, but occasionally slips in a chapter where Mr. Griffin’s humanity is teased out, chipping away at the hard facade that he presents to his students each day.  The sexual content charge is a little odd, since none of the characters do anything beyond a quick kiss, and the closest the two main characters come to a sexual encounter is sitting close to each other in the car.  The ending is a little stilted, but otherwise the book flows well.  Recommended for Young Adult.

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