There are two things you should know about J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye.” The book is one of the most censored titles in schools throughout the United States. The book is one of the most studied titles in schools throughout the United States.
This encapsulates the dilemma of banning books: A work can be one person’s example of vulgarity and another’s of brilliance.
While no one is pointing to the children’s book “The Dirty Cowboy” as a literary classic, they also should not be calling obscene the funny story about a naked cowboy chasing his dog who won’t give him back his clothing. And the Annville-Cleona School Board made a mistake — twice — by banning it from schoolchildren.
The book’s clever illustrations don’t show any “private parts” of the cowboy, and as author Amy Timberlake points out, Norman Rockwell “has more showing in his paintings by far than this.”