A Separate Peace
by by John Knowles.
Book Jacket
American Library Association2010Challenged in Vernon-Verona-Sherill, NY School District (1980) as a "filthy, trashy sex novel." Challenged at the Fannett-Metal High School in Shippensburg, PA (1985) because of its allegedly offensive language. Challenged as appropriate for high school reading lists in the Shelby County, TN school system (1989) because the novel contains "offensive language." Challenged, but retained in the Champaign, IL high school English classes (1991) despite claims that “unsuitable language” makes it inappropriate. Challenged by the parent of a high school student in Troy, IL (1991) citing profanity and negative attitudes. Students were offered alternative assignments while the school board took the matter under advisement, but no further action was taken on the complaint. Challenged at the McDowell County, NC schools (1996) because of "graphic language."
Book Summary2011Set in the summer of 1942 at a boys' boarding school in New Hampshire, the novel focuses on the relationship between two roommates and best friends, Gene Forrester and Phineas. Both approaching their last year of high school and anticipating their involvement in World War II, Gene and Phineas have very different dispositions. Gene, from whose point of view A Separate Peace is told, is a somewhat athletic, shy intellectual; Phineas is a reckless non-intellectual and the best athlete at the school. As an adult looking back fifteen years, Gene recalls and comes to terms with an act he committed that left his friend physically incapacitated and ultimately contributed to his death. ("Overview: A Separate Peace." Novels for Students. Ed. Diane Telgen. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Literature Resource Center. Web. 21 Sep. 2011.)
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