Since its publication in 1965, Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” has been widely recognized as a seminal work in American literature, frequently appearing on high school and college reading lists.
But the contents of the nonfiction novel, which detail the brutal murder of a prosperous Kansas farmer and his family, are apparently too macabre for some Glendale Unified officials and parents who are seeking to block a request by a high school English teacher to add the text to the district’s English curriculum.
“I think ‘chilling’ is far too benign a word to use,” school board member Mary Boger said of the book during a recent meeting.
The debate started midway through the 2010-11 school year when long-time Glendale High School English teacher Holly Ciotti submitted a request to add “In Cold Blood” to a list of books approved by the district for use in AP Language.
The class enrolls the top 11th grade English students, and focuses on rhetoric and debate.