Monday, August 1, 2011

Anastasia Krupnik

Lowry, L. (1979). Anastasia Krupnik. New York: Random House.
This book is on the 100 Most Challenged List.

Anastasia Krupnik is, obviously, the main character in this series.  This first book introduces us to a precocious ten year old who is dealing with issues such as school crushes and her parents having a new baby. Anastasia is struggling with the impending birth of her new baby brother, and having been an only child for ten years, really sees not sense in it!  This reminded me of my oldest daughter and her reaction, as a 7 year old, to the news that she would be a big sister.  It was very similar to Anastasia's!  Anastasia seems wise beyond her years, and I'm sure that has to do with her parents treating her almost as a little adult.  She often treats them like they are all equals, even asking why they wouldn't have talked with her before deciding to have another child. One of the parts that I really identified with was when she spent days writing the poem for school.  With her dad being a poet, she obviously felt a lot of pressure to succeed on this assignment.  Poor Anastasia was devastated when the teacher gave her an F.  This is something that frequently happens in schools, when creative students are punished for their creativity.  The teacher, Mrs. Westvessel, was upset that Anastasia hadn't followed the directions exactly.  Anastasia probably spent much more time on her poem than the students who made up a quick little rhyming poem. Young readers will be able to sympathize with Anastasia and the lack of understanding from her teacher about her poem.   

After reading the first book, I was a little surprised it made it to the 100 Most Challenged List.  There are several references to beer and her father does let her drink the foam off the top, but I really didn't notice anything offensive or inappropriate.  In searching online about the challenges on the series, I did note that there are references to suicide and an adult magazine in the series, so I would assume that is why the series has been challenged.

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