In all honesty, the only reason I decided to read The Lovely Bones was because my high school banned it. I was still in middle school when it happened, but basically my school chose it as the school-wide summer read until an army of conservative, suburban moms rallied against it. This, of course, bumped it up to the top of my reading list.
That being said, there are unquestionably triggering elements in this story. However, I don’t think that merits a school-wide ban. Like most banned book cases in the world, this book is infinitely more complex than dissenters believe.
In the beginning of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, the narrator, Susie Salmon, is raped and murdered by her neighbor, George Harvey. Susie ascends to heaven, where she watches the continuing lives of her family and friends. While Susie now knows that Harvey is a serial killer, she looks on in frustration as the police write him off as creepy but harmless. Susie’s family struggles to move forward after her death, and she watches them slowly break apart under the pressure.