Cover image for The day they came to arrest the book
The day they came to arrest the book
Hentoff, Nat.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dell Pub. Co., 1983.

Physical Description:
169 pages ; 18 cm
Students and faculty at a high school become embroiled in a censorship case over "Huckleberry Finn."
General Note:
"Laurel-leaf books."
Reading Level:
890 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.0 6.0 11710.

Reading Counts RC High School 6.4 9 Quiz: 02895 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Reading List

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Who would have believed that The Adventure ofnbsp;nbsp;Huckleberry Finn could cause the worst crisis in thenbsp;nbsp;history of George Mason High School? Certainly notnbsp;nbsp;Barney Roth, editor of the school paper. But whennbsp;nbsp;a small but vocal group of students and parentsnbsp;nbsp;decide that the book is racist, sexist, andnbsp;nbsp;immoral--and should be removed from reading lists and thenbsp;nbsp;school library--Barney takes matters into his ownnbsp;nbsp;hands.

When the Huck Finn issuenbsp;nbsp;comes up for a hearing, Barney decides to print hisnbsp;nbsp;story about previous censorship efforts at school.nbsp;nbsp;He's sure that investigative reporting andnbsp;nbsp;publicity can help the cause. But is he too late to turnnbsp;nbsp;the tide of censorship?

Author Notes

Nathan Irving Hentoff was born in Boston, Massachusetts on June 10, 1925. He graduated from Northeastern University in 1946. After several years with a Boston radio station, he moved to New York in 1953 and covered jazz for Down Beat until 1957. In 1958, he was a founding editor of The Jazz Review that lasted until 1961. He wrote for The New Yorker from 1960 to 1986, for The Washington Post from 1984 to 2000, and for The Village Voice from 1958 to 2009. During his freelance career, his work appeared in Esquire, Harper's, Commonweal, The Reporter, Playboy, The New York Herald Tribune, Jewish World Review, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Times. In 1995, he received the National Press Foundation's award for lifetime achievement in contributions to journalism.

He wrote more than 35 books during his lifetime. His nonfiction works included The Jazz Life, Peace Agitator: The Story of A. J. Muste, The New Equality, Living the Bill of Rights, and Free Speech for Me - but Not for Thee: How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other. He wrote several memoirs including Boston Boy and Speaking Freely. In 1955, he co-edited with Nat Shapiro Hear Me Talkin' to Ya: The Story of Jazz as Told by the Men Who Made It. His young adult novels included Jazz Country, This School Is Driving Me Crazy, Does This School Have Capital Punishment?, and The Day They Came to Arrest the Book. He died on January 7, 2017 at the age of 91.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

When a student objects to the portrayal of blacks in Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, a censorship controversy erupts in the school.