Lucky, By Alice Sebold:
Available at: Hatboro-Horsham High School
Summary of Concerns:
This book has very explicit rape scenes. This book is inappropriate for anyone under 18 due to graphic violence and rape.
This is what I remember. My lips were cut. I bit down on them when he grabbed me from behind and covered my mouth. He said these words: “I’ll kill you if you scream.” I remained motionless. “Do you understand? If you scream you’re dead.” I nodded my head. My arms were pinned to my sides by his right arm wrapped around me and my mouth was covered with his left. He released his hand from my mouth.
I screamed. Quickly. Abruptly. The struggle began. He covered my mouth again. He need me in the back of my legs so that I He covered my mouth again. He kneed me in the back of my legs so that I would fall down. “You don’t get it, bitch. I’ll kill you. I’ve got a knife. I’ll kill you.” He released his grip on my mouth again and I fell, screaming, on the brick path. He straddled me and kicked me in the side. I made sounds, they were nothing, they were soft footfalls. They urged him on, they made him righteous. I
scrambled on the path. I was wearing soft-soled moccasins with which I tried to land wild kicks. Everything missed or merely grazed him. I had never fought before, was chosen last in gym. Somehow, I don’t remember how, I made it back on my feet. I remember biting him, pushing him, I don’t know what. Then I began to run. Like a giant who is all powerful, he reached out and grabbed the end of my long brown hair. He yanked it hard and brought me down onto my knees in front of him. That was my first missed escape, the hair, the woman’s long hair. “You asked for it now,” he said, and I began to beg.
He reached around to his back pocket to draw out a knife. I struggled still, my hair coming out painfully from my skull as I did my best to rip myself free of his grip. I lunged forward and grabbed his left leg with both arms, throwing him off balance and making him stagger. I would not know it until the police found it later in the grass, a few feet away from my broken glasses, but with that move, the knife fell from his hands and was lost. Then it was fists.
Maybe he was angry at the loss of his weapon or at my disobedience. Whatever the reason, this marked the end of the preliminaries. I was on the ground on my stomach. He sat on my back. He pounded my skull into the brick. He cursed me. He turned me around and sat on my chest. I was babbling. I was begging. Here is where he wrapped his hands around my neck and began to squeeze. For a second, I lost consciousness. When I came to, I knew I was staring up into the eyes of the man who would kill me. At that moment I signed myself over to him. I was convinced that I would not live. I could not fight anymore. He was going to do what he wanted to me. That was it.
Everything slowed down. He stood up and began dragging me over the grass by my hair. I twisted and half crawled, trying to keep up with him. Dimly, I had seen the dark entrance of the amphitheater tunnel from the path. As we neared it, and I realized it was our destination, a rush of fear ran through me. I knew I would die. would die.
There was an old iron fence a few feet out from the tunnel entrance. It was three feet high and provided a narrow space through which you had to walk in order to enter the tunnel. As he dragged me, as I scrambled against the grass, I caught sight of that fence and became utterly convinced that if he brought me beyond this point, I would not survive.
For a moment, as he dragged me across the ground, I clung feebly to the bottom of that iron fence, before a rough pull yanked me clean. People think a woman stops fighting when she is physically exhausted, but I was about to begin my real fight, a fight of words and lies and the brain. When people talk about climbing a mountain or riding rough water, they say they became one with it, their bodies so attuned to it that they often, when asked to articulate how they did it, cannot fully explain. Inside the tunnel, where broken beer bottles, old leaves, and other, as yet indiscriminate, things littered the ground, I became one with this man. He held my life in his hand. Those who say they would rather fight to the death than be raped are fools. I would rather be raped a thousand times. You do what you have to. “Stand up,” he said.
I was shivering uncontrollably. It was cold out and the cold combined with the fear, with the exhaustion, made me shake from head to toe. He dumped my purse and bag of books in the corner of the sealed-off tunnel. “Take off your clothes.” “I have eight dollars in my back pocket,” I said. “My mother has credit cards. My sister does too.” “I don’t want your money,” he said, and laughed. I looked at him. Into his eyes now, as if he was a human being, as if I could speak to him. “Please don’t rape me,” I said. “Take off your clothes.” “I’m a virgin,” I said. He didn’t believe me. Repeated his command. “Take off your clothes.”My hands were shaking and I couldn’t control them. He pulled me forward by my belt until my body was up against his, which was up against the tunnel’s back my belt until my body was up against his, which was up against the tunnel’s back wall. “Kiss me,” he said.
And he drew my head forward and our lips met. My lips were pursed tightly together. He tugged harder on my belt, my body pressing up further against his. He grabbed my hair in his fist and balled it up. He drew my head back and looked at me. I began to cry, to plead. “Please don’t,” I said. “Please.” “Shut up.”
He kissed me again and this time, he inserted his tongue in my mouth. By pleading, I had left myself open to this. Again he pulled my head back roughly. “Kiss back,” he said. And I did.
When he was satisfied, he stopped and tried to work the latch on my belt. It was a belt with a strange buckle and he couldn’t figure it out. To have him let go of me, for him to leave me alone, I said, “Let me, I’ll do it.” He watched me. When I was done, he unzipped the jeans I wore. “Now take off your shirt.” I had a cardigan sweater on. I took that off. He reached over to help unbutton my shirt. He fumbled. “I’ll do it,” I said again. I unbuttoned the oxford-cloth shirt and, like the cardigan, I peeled it back from my body. It was like shedding feathers. Or wings. “Now the bra.” I did.
He reached out and grabbed them—my breasts—in his two hands. He plied them and squeezed them, manipulating them right down to my ribs. Twisting. I hope that to say his hurt isn’t necessary here. “Please don’t do this, please,” I said. “Nice white titties,” he said. And the words made me give them up, lobbing off each part of my body as he claimed ownership—the mouth, the tongue, my breasts. “I’m cold,” I said. “Lay down.”
“On the ground?” I asked, stupidly, hopelessly. I saw, among the leaves and glass, the grave. My body stretched out, disassembled, gagged, dead. I sat first, kind of stumbled into a seated position. He took the end of my pants and tugged. As I tried to hide my nakedness—at least I had my underpants on—he looked down at my body. I still feel that in that gaze his eyes lit up my sickly pale skin in that dark tunnel. Made it all—my flesh—suddenly horrible. Ugly too kind a word, but the closest one. “You’re the worst bitch I ever done this to,” he said. It was said in disgust, it was said in analysis. He saw what he had bagged and didn’t like his catch. No matter, he would finish. Here, I began to combine truth with fiction, using anything to try and get him to come over to my side. To see me as pitiful, for him to see me as worse off than him. “I’m a foster child,” I said. “I don’t even know who my parents are. Please don’t do this. I’m a virgin,” I said. “Lie down.”
I did. Shaking, I crawled over and lay face up against the cold ground. He pulled my underpants off me roughly and bundled them into his hand. He threw them away from me and into a corner where I lost sight of them. I watched him as he unzipped his pants and let them fall around his ankles. He lay down on top of me and started humping. I was familiar with this. This was what Steve, a boy I liked in high school, had done against my leg, because I would not let him do what he wanted most, which was to make love to me. With Steve I was fully dressed and so was he. He went home frustrated and I felt safe. My parents were upstairs the whole time. I told myself Steve loved me. He worked away on me, reaching down to work with his penis. I stared right into his eyes. I was too afraid not to. If I shut my eyes, I believed, I would disappear. To make it through, I had to be present the whole time.
He called me bitch. He told me I was dry. “I’m sorry,” I said—I never stopped apologizing. “I’m a virgin,” I said. “Stop looking at me,” he said. “Shut your eyes. Stop shaking.” “Stop looking at me,” he said. “Shut your eyes. Stop shaking.”
“I cant.” “Stop it or you’ll be sorry.” I did. My focus became acute. I stared harder than ever at him. He began to knead his fist against the opening of my vagina. Inserted his fingers into it, three or four at a time. Something tore. I began to bleed there. I was wet now. It made him excited. He was intrigued. As he worked his whole fist up into my vagina and pumped it, I went into my brain. Waiting there were poems for me, poems I’d learned in class: Olga Cabrai had a poem I haven’t found since, “Lillian’s Chair,” and a poem called “Dog Hospital,” by Peter Wild. I tried, as a sort of prickly numbness took over my lower half, to recite the poems in my head. I moved my lips. “Stop staring at me,” he said.”I’m sorry,” I said. “You’re strong,” I tried. He liked this. He started humping me again, wildly. The base of my spine was crushed into the ground. Glass cut me on my back and behind. But something still wasn’t working for him. I didn’t know what he was doing. He kneeled back. “Raise your legs,” he said. Not knowing what he meant, never having done this for a lover, or read that kind of book, I raised them straight up.
“Spread them.” I did. My legs were like a plastic Barbie’s, pale, inflexible. But he wasn’t
satisfied. He put a hand on each calf and pressed them out farther than I could hold. “Keep them there,” he said.
He tried again. He worked his fist. He grabbed my breasts. He twisted the nipples with his fingers, lapped at them with his tongue.Tears came out of the corners of my eyes and rolled down either cheek. I was leaving now, but then I heard sounds. Out on the path. People, a group of laughing boys and girls, passing by. I had passed a party on my way to the park, a party to celebrate the last day of school. I looked at him; he did not hear them. This was it. I made an abrupt scream and, as soon as I did, he shoved his hand in my mouth. Simultaneously I heard the laughter again. This time it was directed toward the tunnel, toward us. Yells and taunts. Good-time noises. We lay there, his hand locked in my mouth and pressing down hard into my We lay there, his hand locked in my mouth and pressing down hard into my throat, until the group of well-wishers left. Moved on. My second chance at escape now gone.
Things weren’t going the way he planned. It was taking too long. He ordered me to stand up. Told me I could put on my panties. Used that word. I hated it. I thought it was over. I was trembling but I thought he’d had enough. Blood was everywhere and so I thought he’d done what he’d come for. “Give me a blow job,” he said. He was standing now. I was on the ground, trying to search among the filth for my clothes. He kicked me and I curled into a ball. “I want a blow job.” He held his dick in his hand. “I don’t know how,” I said. “What do you mean you don’t know how?” “I’ve never done it before,” I said. “I’m a virgin.” “Put it in your mouth.” I kneeled before him. “Can I put my bra back on?” I wanted my clothes. I saw his thighs before me, the way they belled out from the knee, the thick muscles and small black hairs, and his flaccid dick. He grabbed my head. “Put it in your mouth and suck,” he said. “Like a straw?” I said. “Yeah, like a straw.”
I took it in my hand. It was small. Hot, clammy. It throbbed involuntarily at my touch. He shoved my head forward and I put it in. It touched my tongue. The taste like dirty rubber or burnt hair. I sucked in hard.”Not like that,” he said and brought my head away. “Don’t you know how to suck dick?”
“No, I told you,” I said. “I’ve never done this before.” “Bitch,” he said. His penis still limp, he held it with two fingers and peed on me. Just a little bit. Acrid, wet, on my nose and lips. The smell of him—the fruity, heady, nauseating smell—clung to my skin. “Get back on the ground,” he said, “and do what I say.” And I did. When he told me to close my eyes I told him I had lost my glasses, couldn’t even really see him. “Talk to me,” he said. “I believe you, you’re a virgin. I’m your first.” As he worked against me, trying for more and more virgin. I’m your first.” As he worked against me, trying for more and more
friction, I told him he was strong, that he was powerful, that he was a good man. He got hard enough and plunged himself inside me. He ordered me to and I wrapped my legs around his back and he drove me into the ground. I was locked on. All that remained unpossessed was my brain. It looked and watched and cataloged the details of it all. His face, his purpose, how best I could help him. I heard more party-goers on the path, but I was far away now. He made noises and rammed it in. Rammed it and rammed it and those on the path, those so far away, living in the world where I had lived, could not be
reached by me now “Nail her, all right!” someone yelled toward the tunnel. It was the kind of fraternity reveler’s voice that had made me feel that, as a student at Syracuse
University, I might never fit in.
They passed. I was staring right into his eyes. With him. “You’re so strong, you’re such a man, thank you, thank you, I wanted this.” And then it was over. He came and slumped into me. I lay under him. My heart beating wildly. My brain thinking of Olga Cabrai, of poetry, of my mother, of anything. Then I heard his breathing. Light and regular. He was snoring. I thought: Escape. I shifted under him and he woke. He looked at me, did not know who I was. Then his remorse began. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “You’re a good girl,” he said. “I’m so sorry.” “Can I get dressed?” He moved aside and stood up, raised his pants, zipped them. “Of course, of course,” he said. “I’ll help you.” I had begun to let myself shake again. “You’re cold,” he said. “Here, put these on.” He held my underwear out to me, in the way a mother would for a child, by the sides of it. I was supposed to stand up and step in. I crawled over toward my clothes. Put my bra on as I sat on the ground. “Are you okay?” he asked. His tone was amazing to me. Concerned. But I didn’t stop to think of it then. All I knew was it was better than it had been. I stood up and took my underpants from him. I put them on, almost falling for my lack of balance. I had to sit on the ground to put my pants on. I was worried about my legs. I couldn’t seem to control them. about my legs. I couldn’t seem to control them. He watched me. As I inched my pants up, his tone switched. “You’re going to have a baby, bitch,” he said. “What are you going to do about it?”
I realized this could be a reason to kill me. Any evidence. I lied to him. “Please don’t tell anyone,” I said. “I’ll have an abortion. Please don’t tell anyone. My mother would kill me if she knew about this. Please,” I said, “no one can know about this. My family would hate me. Please don’t talk about this.” He laughed. “All right,” he said. “Thank you,” I said. I stood now and put my shirt on. It was inside out. “Can I go now?” I asked.
“Come here,” he said. “Kiss me good-bye.” It was a date to him. For me it was happening all over again. I kissed him. Did I say I had free will? Do you still believe in that? He apologized again. This time he cried. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “You’re such
a good girl, a good girl, like you said.” I was shocked by his tears, but by now it was just another horrible nuance I couldn’t understand. So he wouldn’t hurt me more, I needed to say the right thing. “It’s okay,” I said. “Really.” “No,” he said, “it’s not right what I did. You’re a good girl. You weren’t lying to me. I’m sorry for what I did.” I’ve always hated it in movies and plays, the woman who is ripped open by violence and then asked to parcel out redemption for the rest of her life. “I forgive you,” I said. I said what I had to. I would die by pieces to save myself from real death.
He perked up. Looked at me. “You’re a beautiful girl,” he said. “Can I take my purse?” I asked. I was afraid to move without his permission. “My books?” He went back to business now. “You said you had eight dollars?” He took it from my jeans. It was wrapped around my license. It was a photo ID. New York State didn’t have them yet but Pennsylvania did. “What is this?” he asked. “Is this one of them meal cards I can use at
“No,” I said. I was petrified of him having my identification. Leaving with anything other than what he had: all of me, except my brain and my belongings. I wanted to leave the tunnel with both of them. He looked at it a moment longer until he was convinced. He did not take my great-grandmother’s sapphire ring, which had been on my hand the whole time. He was not interested in that kind of thing. He handed me my purse and the books I’d bought that afternoon with my mother.
“Which way you going?” he asked. I pointed. “All right,” he said, “take care of yourself.”
I promised that I would. I started walking. Back out over the ground, through the gate to which I’d clung a little over an hour before, and onto the brick path. Going farther into the park was the only way toward home. A moment later. “Hey, girl,” he yelled at me.
I turned. I was, as I am in these pages, his. “What’s your name?” I couldn’t lie. I didn’t have a name other than my own to say. “Alice,” I said. “Nice knowing you, Alice,” he yelled. “See you around sometime.”
“This is different from a regular exam,” Dr. Husa explained. “I need to take samples in order to make up a rape kit.” “That’s evidence so you can get this creep,” the nurse said. They took pubic clippings and pubic combings and samples of blood and semen and vaginal discharge. When I would wince, Mary Alice squeezed my hand harder. The nurse tried to make conversation, asked Mary Alice what she majored in up at the school, told me I was lucky to have such a good friend, said that being beaten up like I had would make the cops listen to me more attentively. “There is so much blood,” I heard Husa say worriedly to the nurse. As they did the combings, Dr. Husa said, “Ah, now, there is a hair from him!”
The nurse held the evidence bag open and Dr. Husa shook the combings into it. “Good,” the nurse said. “Alice,” Dr. Husa said, “we are going to let you urinate now but then I will have to take stitches inside.” The nurse helped me sit up and then scooted a bedpan under me. I urinated for such a long time that the nurse and Mary Alice made a point of it, and laughed each time they thought I’d stopped. When I was done, what I saw was a bedpan full of blood, not urine. The nurse covered it quickly with paper from the examining table.
“You don’t need to be looking at that.” Mary Alice helped me lie back down.
Dr. Husa had me scoot down so she could take the stitches. “You’ll be sore down here for a few days, maybe a week,” Dr. Husa said. “You shouldn’t do much, if you can avoid it.” But I couldn’t think in terms of days or weeks. I could only focus on the next minute and believe that with each minute it would get better, that slowly all of this might go away. this might go away.
I told the police not to call my mother. Unaware of my appearance, I believed I could hide the rape from her and from my family. My mother had panic attacks in heavy traffic; I was certain my rape would destroy her.
I tried to think of what I could tell my mother—some kind of story that would explain why I was so sleepy. I could not know, despite the doctor’s warnings, how sore I would be in the morning, or that an elegant latticework of bruises would appear along my thighs and chest, on the undersides of my upper arms and around my neck, where, days later, at home in my bedroom, I would begin to make out the individual pressure points of his
fingertips on my throat—a butterfly of the rapist’s- two thumbs interlocking in the center and his fingers fluttering out and around my neck. “I’m gonna kill you, bitch. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.” Each repetition punctuated by the smash of my skull against brick, each repetition cutting off, tighter and tighter, the airflow to my brain.
Tree’s face, and her gasp, should have told me that I couldn’t hide the truth. But she recovered herself quickly and helped me navigate over to the shower stall. She was uncomfortable around me; I was no longer like her but was other than. I think the way I survived in the early hours after the rape was by spiraling the obsession of how not to tell my mother over and over again in my brain. Convinced it would destroy her, I ceased thinking of what had happened to me and worried about her instead. My worry for her became my life raft. I clung to it, coming in and out of consciousness on my way to the hospital, during the internal stitches of the pelvic exam, and while the psychiatrist gave me the prescription for the very pills that had once made my mother numb.
She reached through the water and got the large square brick of soap. She drew it down my back, nothing but the bar of soap touching me. I felt the rapist’s words, “worst bitch,” as I would feel them almost constantly for years when I undressed in front of other people. “Forget it,” I said, unable to look at her. “I’ll do it myself. Just put the soap
back.” She did, then pulled the curtain closed, before leaving.
I had not eaten anything since the night before—since the raisins at Ken Childs’s house—and I could not look at the bagels or doughnuts without feeling what—the rapist’s penis—had last been in my mouth. I tried to stay awake. I had been up for more than twenty-four hours—far longer, what with the all-nighters that I’d pulled during finals week—but I was afraid to fall asleep before my mother got there. My girlfriends and the resident advisor, who, after all, was only nineteen, tried to take care of me, but I had begun to notice that I was now on the other side of something they could not understand. I didn’t understand it myself.
At approx 12:05 AM while walking on the path past the bathhouse and near the amphitheater I heard someone walking behind me. I started to walk faster and was suddenly overtaken from behind and grabbed around the mouth. This man said “be quiet I’m not going to hurt you, if you do what I say.” He loosened up his grip on my mouth and I screamed. He then threw me on the ground and yanks my hair and said
“don’t ask any questions, I could kill you right now.” We were both on the ground and he threatened me with a knife I never saw. He then began to struggle with me and told me to walk over to the area of the amphitheater. While walking I fell down and he became angry, grabbed my hair and pulled me into the amphitheater. He proceeded to undress me until I was left with my bra and panties. I took off my bra and panties, he told me to lie down which I did. He took off his pants and proceeded to have intercourse with me. After he was done he got up and asked me to give him a “blow job.” I said that I didn’t know what it meant and he said “just suck on it.” He then took my head and forced my mouth on his penis. After he was done he told me to lie down on the ground and again had intercourse with me. He fell asleep on me for a short time. He got up and helped me dress and took $9.00 from my back pocket. I was then allowed to leave and went back to Marion Dorm where I notified the University police.
“And what about what he did to my breasts and his fist?” I asked. “We fought more than that.” All I saw were what I thought of as the errors he had made, the things he had left out or the words he had substituted for what had actually been said. had substituted for what had actually been said. “All that doesn’t matter,” he said. “We just need the gist of it. As soon as you sign it, you can go home.”
A girl had been gang-raped at a fraternity that year. She had filed a complaint and charges. She was trying to prosecute. But the fraternity members and their friends had made it impossible for her to stay in school. By the time I visited Penn’s campus she had withdrawn. In the elevator of my sister’s dormitory was a crude ballpoint drawing of her with her legs spread open. A group of male figures were waiting in line beside her. The caption read, “Marcie pulls a train.”
So I watched Kojak as I lay in my Lanz nightgown and drank chocolate milk shakes. (At first, I had difficulty with solid food. Initially my mouth was sore from the sodomy and, after this, having food in my mouth reminded me too much of the rapist’s penis as it lay against my tongue.)
BEYOND MAGENTA, by Susan Kuklin
This book is available at Hatboro-Horsham High School and Keith Valley Middle School
Strong sexually explicit content includes pedophilia, which is still a crime in the USA.
The 2014 book, Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, features first-person interviews with six transgender or gender-neutral young adults conducted by US author Susan Kuklin.
This book contains Descriptions of violent behavior, graphic sexual content and pedophilia.
This includes pushing over a pregnant teacher and justifying that behavior (pg 119).
This book also contains graphic descriptions of oral sex being given by children as young as 6 years old. “From six up, I used to kiss other guys in my neighborhood, make out with them, and perform oral sex on them. I liked it. I used to love oral. And I touched their you-know-what’s. We were really young but that’s what we did.” -pg 113.
“This guy got me to perform oral sex on him. I thought I was doing the right thing by performing on him. But I Wasn’t. He was just abusing me. He had total mind control over me………. We finally got caught in the act, and I was very happy because I wanted it to stop. I think the directors were worried that they could get sued because they kept telling me in was consensual. It wasn’t consensual at all” (pg 122)
On page 123 it talks about 14-year-old Mariah being asked by a 17-year-old student for oral sex. The passage reads “well, one time he approached me. He said I’m told you’re really good at head. I was freaked out. I was excited. I was like oh my god. He said Well why don’t you do that on me. I said I would, but I have to go to work right now. When I come back, I will do it” (pg 123-124)
QUESTION: Who specifically approved this program and was responsible for vetting this book? Were all the books in this program vetted? Pedophilia is a crime in the USA and bringing this material to a classroom should be a reason for termination.
THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, by Jennifer Mathieu
This book is available at Hatboro Horsham High School
AMAZON states this book is appropriate for 9th grade and up (ages 14+).
Product description on Good Reads, Amazon and Ebay:
|Winner of the Children’s Choice Book Awards’ Teen Choice Debut Author Award Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback, Brandon Fitzsimmons, dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with Alice. Ask anybody. Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the “slut stall” in the girls’ bathroom: “Alice had sex in exchange for math test answers” and “Alice got an abortion last semester.” After Brandon dies, the rumors start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students tell all they “know” about Alice–and in doing so reveal their secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the realities of teen life. But in this novel by Jennifer Mathieu, exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end, there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself. This title has Common Core connections.|
LILY AND DUNKIN, by Donna Gephart
This book is available at Keith Valley Middle School
This book has been banned from public schools across America for its strong sexual content, issues of bullying, rebellion against the police, and not taking bipolar medications.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
This book is available at Keith Valley Middle School
Strong themes of sexual abuse,
Pg.24 “I spent hours in the bathroom with a magazine that has one thousand pictures of naked movie stars. Naked woman+right hand= happy happy joy joy” the whole page is about masturbation
Pg. 67 the guys was in love with computers and there is a comparison about having sex with one not in detail
Pg. 70 and71 Books should give you boners then talk about how books should give you a metaphorical boner
There are a lot of sexual innuendos
Pg. 152 Rowdy calls Junior a tree fag then tells him he likes to stick his dick in the knotholes. Junior replies he sticks his dick in the girl trees