The Glass Castle
Artist: Jeannette Walls
Date of Action: August 2021
Region: North America
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
Confronting Bodies: Parents
Description of Artwork: The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls, is an autobiographical memoir of Walls’ and her siblings’ unconventional and poverty-stricken upbringing at the hands of deeply dysfunctional parents.
The Incident: Parents of a 9th grader at Traverse City West Senior High School, in Michigan, asked school officials to have a book banned from the freshman honors English summer reading list. The parents object to the content of the memoir: explicit language, references to child molestation, adolescent sexual exploits, and violence as it recounts the author’s experiences growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who suffered from mental illness.
Results of Incident: The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education rejected the recommendation to remove a memoir from the freshman honors English summer reading list.