Go Ask Alice About Banned Books
“Go Ask Alice” is a book that deals realistically with young people’s dealings with drugs–and so naturally, it has come under fire, and is often the target of book banning.
The 1971 book is about drug abuse and considered a classic of youth literature. The novel (autobiography?) claims to be the journal of an anonymous teenage girl who died of a drug overdose in the late 1960s. It’s therefore presented as a testimony against drug use. Alice is not the author / main character’s name; the book never gives her name. A woman named Alice, who is a fellow addict, is mentioned briefly in the book. The author meets Alice on the street.
The book caused a stir when published and remains in print as of 2007. Revelations about the book’s origin have caused much doubt as to its authenticity and factual accounts, and the publishers have listed it as a work of fiction since the 1980s. Today, most critics consider it to be the work of its editor, Beatrice Sparks. It makes for compelling reading, and rather than banning it, it should be encouraged as reading material for teens.