Shel Silverstein is no stranger to controversy. A light in the Attic, and Where the Sidewalk Ends have both been banned in various schools, at various times.
Now schools are forbidding The Giving Tree, for young children. Among the reasons for the censorship, are the displays of male chauvinism, as evidenced by the boy thanklessly taking from the tree referred to as "she". Then there is the predatory nature of the boy, who is always taking, and never giving back to the tree. The depressing nature of the story has also been cited. The boy takes, the tree gives, and both die old and decrepit. The final straw seems to be that the story undermines parental authority, as it illustrates that the tree is able to meet needs that the boy's parents cannot meet. (i.e. Why is he seeking shelter, and a "voice" from outside sources?)
I have my feelings on this matter, but what are yours?
Has this book been banned in your schools? Have your kids read it?