Water for Elephants

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Lesson Planned

Water for elephants.jpg

Artist: Sara Gruen

Year: 2013

Date of Action: August 2021

Region: North America

Location: West Chester, Pennsylvania

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Violence, Youth


Confronting Bodies: Parents

Description of Artwork: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is a historical novel, told as a series of memories by Jacob Jankowski, a 93-year-old man who lives in a nursing home. It was published in 2006 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

The Incident: Parents at a West Chester school expressed their concern about the graphic descriptions of intimate scenes in the novel and requested that the book be removed from the 10th grade curriculum.

Results of Incident: The request was denied, and the book was still kept.

However, a lot of the comments and reviews concerning the censorship of this book, all state that the graphic descriptions were completely unnecessary and completely irrelevant to the story line of the book.