|"I thought Killing Mr. Griffin was a cool book, even though it was totally unrealistic. Like you would ever kill your teacher that way? Hello!"|
School board members in Hamilton, New Jersey, recently took up a parent's complaint about a book called Killing Mr. Griffin.It's a thriller by Lois Duncan, who also wrote I Know What You Did Last Summer, which became a blockbuster movie. In Griffin, five teenagers kidnap their hated English teacher, only to have him die of a heart attack. The book dismayed Hamilton school authorities, though they were reluctant to censor it. Teen readers, meanwhile, have posted raves on Amazon.com's Web site. Below are some of the five-star reviews, including one from a teacher.
"The image of masked figures stuffing a bag over an ugly teacher's head and the body's arms moving just made me laugh. If you ever had a teacher you really hated, you might understand....I wonder if Lois Duncan ever had a teacher she hated."
"This book puts you on the edge of your seat. I definitely recommend that everyone who has ever thought of harming a teacher should read this book. Then I bet you wouldn't even think about it."
"I felt as if I was part of the group that murdered him. I loved the fact that it was a thing that many high schoolers have thought about doing but have never actually done. It dealed [sic] with a lot of things like having to deal with a death and what you have to do in order to make it right again. Even though I wouldn't have hidden the body and the evidence, I think that most kids would have. A lot of kids have a fear of getting in trouble so they hide everything."
"This book was extremely well-written and bone-chilling. If you can't read about killing your teacher, then what else is there to read?"
"This book is way better than I Know What You Did and I think they (movie makers) should've made this book into a movie instead."
"I chose this book for my book report in, duh, English. Our English teacher sorta acted scared when she read the part that they killed their English teacher."
"I thought Killing Mr. Griffin was a cool book, even though it was totally unrealistic. Like you would ever kill your teacher that way? Hello!"
"Duncan has written a must-read for any mystery lover. As a high school English teacher, I have read countless books searching for just the right one to grab my reluctant freshmen readers. At long last, I have found it. I watched as students...fell head over heals [sic] into the story. They moaned when the bell rang and read chapters ahead at home. The book also stimulated incredible in-class discussion."
Vol. 10, Issue 7, Page 47Published in Print: April 1, 1999, as Killer Reviews