Why Was "Killing Mr. Griffin" Banned?

killing-mr-griffin-banned Credit: CCAC North Library/CC-BY-2.0

"Killing Mr. Griffin," a young adult novel by Lois Duncan, has been banned by a number of schools and other institutions for its macabre plot involving several high school students kidnapping a teacher who dies before they decide to free him. The book was originally published in 1978.

According to an article on TheWire.com, "Killing Mr. Griffin" is among a number of young adult books that are regularly banned. Others include the Harry Potter series as well as "The Catcher in the Rye." The publication pointed out that in many cases books that are banned become even more sought-after by prospective readers who want to know what makes them controversial.

In an interview with AbsoluteWrite.com, Duncan said that she wrote "Killing Mr. Griffin" as a cautionary tale pertaining to the dark side of peer pressure and that she was inspired by wondering whether violent criminals such as Charles Manson were able to convince people to do terrible things when they were still teenagers.

In the interview Duncan said she believed anyone who read her book would understand that the bad behavior depicted in it had not been glorified and that they were likely to take her intended lesson to heart.