Lorrie Moore says, "Send Huck Finn to College":
There are other books more appropriate for an introduction to serious reading. (“To Kill a Mockingbird,” with its social-class caricatures and racially naïve narrator, is not one of them.) Sherman Alexie’s “Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” which vibrantly speaks to every teenager’s predicament when achievement in life is at odds with the demoralized condition of his peer group, is a welcoming book for boys. There must certainly be others and their titles should be shared. Teachers I meet everywhere are always asking, How can we get boys to read? And the answer is, simply, book by book.
But if the ugly language of Huckleberry Finn means, as Moore suggests, that it's not to be assigned until, perhaps, "even graduate school," and we must also refuse to assign to our high-schoolers books whose treatment of social class is insufficiently nuanced and whose narratives are "racially naïve" . . . ? I mean, these are pretty stringent tests, aren't they? Isn't this that hoary old zombie Political Correctness rising once more from the grave? Moore should at least acknowledge these obvious objections.