I really would like to write something up about The Chocolate War, since that book defined a lot of my personality. I read it nearly 15 years ago, but I still remember just about everything about the book. The writeup there is rather clinical, it lacks any sort of personal knowledge. A mere sentence to describe one of the most banned books in the US.

My involvement with it is so personal, long ago I had to read in aloud in class (along with the rest of the sixth grade reading class). The book involves frequent mentions of masturbation, nothing particularly "sexy" ... But, we're talking sixth graders who will laugh at fart jokes, so having the teacher in the room when you have to say "How many times do you jack off?" (which is nearly a direct quote from the book) was cause for an uproar.

It pissed me off. I wanted to read the book, pretty badly. I knew it was a serious book. And I understood that the main character would have said something, he would have told the rest of the class to shut up, and would have finished reading the book. I wasn't the main character. I wasn't a conformist, either, but I wasn't the rugged individual who would stand up for what he believed in.

To this day, I know I'm not that same rugged individual. I would like to be, since I admire them. The closest I can get is that I will state my beliefs rather openly, but I won't defend them should they be challenged.

I did go out and buy Beyond the Chocolate War with my own money, which was rather impressive for a sixth grader.