Pete Patriarch’s Musings

October 5, 2007

Woman wants to ban books without happy endings

Filed under: Uncategorized — Pete @ 9:44 pm

What in the fuck… this stuff is better than any satirist could come up with.

We want happy endings for kids’ books

04 October 2007 09:43
A crusading mother-of-three has made it her mission to ensure children grow up hearing of only the good things in life.
Norwich woman Clare Hughes is spearheading the eastern arm of a new national campaign to put a stop to children’s books that don’t have a happy ending.
The 42-year-old has been appointed head of the Happy Endings Foundation’s East of England Cheering Committee, which urges parents to only let their children read books with happy endings.
The group was set up after its founder, Adrienne Small, read the first book in the series A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket to her daughter.
She said the books caused her daughter to take a more negative approach to life, which only got worse when she subsequently read all 13 books in the series.
Mrs Hughes, whose children are 13, 12 and nine, said: “I’ve seen the way my children respond to news that goes on in real life, whether that be the disappearance of a child, like Madeleine McCann, or bombings, and that gives them enough nightmares.
“Books should give them a sense of good triumphing over evil and let them be rest assured that the goodies will come out on top.”
“It’s about encouraging children to read books with positive values. Look at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there are some unpleasant characters, but Charlie wins out in the end. That’s the type of book we support.”
As part of the campaign, letters have been sent out to school libraries asking them to remove Lemony Snicket books from the shelves and HEF are holding a number of activities, such as Bad Book Bonfires, where they are encouraging people on Guy Fawkes’s Night to make their bonfires from “bad books”. Other reads on their “bad book” list include Villette by Charlotte Bronte, The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jeah Rhys, The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson and Shockheaded Peter by Heinrich Hoffman.
However, Harriet Cox, librarian for Norfolk’s School Library Service, said the campaign was unnecessary.
She said: “It’s patronising children if there are only books with happy endings and they will see through it because they know there’s good and bad in the world.”
Are you campaigning for or against an issue that concerns you? Call Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email



  1. I have noticed, in the last few years, the wind being taken out of the sails of satire as reality sinks past its predictions to even more depressing lows.

    This reminds me of this Onion article:

    Earth to be Made Child-Safe

    I particularly liked the picture of the Grand Canyon filled with plastic balls so kids wouldn’t be hurt if they fell in.

    Comment by Aegis — October 8, 2007 @ 7:14 am

  2. Afraid you’ve been had. According to the Museum of Hoaxes website, the Happy Endings Foundation’s website is owned by Lemony Snicket’s advertising company.

    That Onion article is fantastic, though.

    Comment by paddybrown — October 8, 2007 @ 8:44 am

  3. Indeed.


    Well played, Lemony Snicket. Well played.

    Comment by Aegis — October 9, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

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