School: 'Bunny Suicides' up for review -- if angry mom returns book

School: 'Bunny Suicides' up for review -- if angry mom returns book »Play Video

HALSEY, Ore. -- A best-selling dark comedy cartoon book has a Halsey area mom livid.

Taffey Anderson is taking Central Linn High School to task for having "The Book Of Bunny Suicides" in the library.

This little orange book is the root of the controversy. The 2003 book by British author Andy Riley is a collection of cartoons showing a rabbit trying to end its life in bizarre ways.

Anderson minces no words. She says the book is not appropriate for kids.

"This is not a kids book. This is not a book that should be in a public library for children," Anderson said.  She inspected the book her 13-year-old son checked out of the high school's library and vows never to return it.

"Animal cruelty? No. Not OK. Not OK in my book anyway," Anderson said in describing the pictures.

The cartoons show white rabbits in creative attempts to end their lives by using revolving doors, a toaster, bowling balls and other objects.

Anderson called Principal Julie Knoedler, who told her about the district's book challenge policy and the committee that handles complaints.

"We talk about whether the parent's objection to the book outweighs our purpose for having the book in the library," Knoedler said.

But she said before the committee can even meet, they need the book returned.

"We've sent a letter requesting that the book be returned or that she pay the $13 fee so that we can buy a new book," Knoedler said.

Children's librarian Scott Keeney at the Albany Public Library said Central Linn can turn this controversy into something positive.

"They probably aren't enjoying this," he said. "This is a difficult time for them, but it's OK. It will make them look at their policies, their book collection."

Keeney recalls he took some flak for adding the book "Walter, The Farting Dog."  Not a Pulitzer Prize winner, but Keeney said it gets kids to read.

"Who knows, he may have gone from 'Walter The Farting Dog' to 'War and Peace,' "  he said.

Anderson, though, is adamant. She feels "The Book Of Bunny Suicides" sends the wrong message. 

"This is not OK," she said. "It's very disgusting to know that a school would allow a book like this."

Knoedler is confident the book review process will sort this all out.  "I'm actually glad that the parent is exercising her right to file a complaint. That's perfectly appropriate."

No date has been set for the school board to take up the complaint.