Banned Books

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On the Yahoo homepage this morning I came across this article which discusses the most commonly “banned” books from libraries – particularly school libraries. I was shocked at some of the books on the list – Huck Finn, Of Mice & Men, James and the Giant Peach??? Really? Seriously (ode to Grey’s Anatomy)? What the hell is wrong with the people who chose the books on this list? This is from the article:

The American Library Association keeps an accounting of objectionable reads. We curled up with a good computer to check which forbidden pages still beckon readers and searchers.

Harry Potter” (Series) (J.K. Rowling)
To Kill a Mockingbird” (Harper Lee)
The Color Purple” (Alice Walker)
The Outsiders” (S.E. Hinton)
Lord of the Flies” (William Golding)
Of Mice and Men” (John Steinbeck)
Goosebumps” (Series) (R.L. Stine)
How to Eat Fried Worms” (Thomas Rockwell)
The Catcher in the Rye” (J.D. Salinger)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (Mark Twain)
The Giver” (Lois Lowry)
Brave New World” (Aldous Huxley)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” (Mark Twain)
Captain Underpants” (Dav Pilkey)
The Anarchist Cookbook” (William Powell)
Carrie” (Stephen King)
Flowers for Algernon” (Daniel Keyes)
The Dead Zone” (Stephen King)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (Maya Angelou)
Go Ask Alice” (anonymous)
American Psycho” (Bret Easton Ellis)
The Chocolate War” (Robert Cormier)
James and the Giant Peach” (Roald Dahl)
The Pigman” (Paul Zindel)
A Wrinkle in Time” (Madeleine L’Engle)

Some of the books were banned for racial epithets, others were banned for cursing, The Color Purple was probably banned for rape. But, I think the people who chose to ban these books lost sight of the message of the novels themselves. Is it possioble that Maya Angelou wrote something we should NOT allow (let alone require) our children to read?

I’ll only touch breifly on the whole Harry Potter thing. My daughter, me, my sister, and even my mother have read this whole series. Anyone who says that these books “teach witchcraft” has not read them. Yes, some of the characters have special powers. Yes, the “good guys” are fighting the “bad guys”. One question – how do these books differ from Star Wars? What about The Lord of the Rings? Nuf said.

My daughter goes to a strict Church of Christ private high school. Guess what’s on her required reading list this year? Of Mice & Men AND To Kill a Mockingbird. Two years ago she had to read The Giver – which she still considers one of her favorite books of all time. Good thing she doesn’t go to a stupid school who bans great literary treasures.

Thoughts?

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7 responses »

  1. I was just reading this article. 🙂 Yeah, I don’t see why some of these books are banned. The Outsiders? Why?

    I love Harry Potter Books. My MIL hates them. She’s never read them. But she won’t allow her over 20 year daughter to read or watch the movies because it’s about witchcraft. Yet, she LOVED Lord of the Rings. Yeah I don’t get it either. lol.

    I love To Kill a Mockingbird.

  2. That’s freaking crazy. Especially with the things that they do allow in schools now a days. Like you can teach my kids about masterbation all kinds of sex. Same sex marriage books in elementary school. And they can’t read classics.

  3. Yeah, I could get really upset if I go on with what Nicole wrote. It’s very frustrating what they’re allowing in the schools (i.e., the same sex marriage info – to desinsitize – not for any literary value), but not the classics. I think we’re not scarred from having read “To Kill A Mockingbird” and other great books. We even went to a play about it. I do think some of those books have merit of not being allowed – “Sex” by Madonna – yeah, not allowing that one for my kids, haha.

    I’d love to see if these same people that are worried about these books really watch over what their kids watch on TV or better yet listen to on the radio. There’s a LOT of stuff on the radio that kids sing and have not a clue what they’re saying…

  4. Okay, I’m in shock, I don’t even have anything to say right now beyond James and the Giant Peach? ?????? What the fuck??

    Why in the hell would they ban that book? Because of the mean aunts? What about Cinderella then?

    I don’t have any kids in school but do they seriously have same sex marriage books? in elementary schools??

    Will they be banning Midsummers Night Dream because of the sexual parts next?

  5. I glommed onto last year’s list and am slowly working my way down reading them!

    Read all the HP books in like ONE MONTH last year! LOVED them! (btw, my sis won’t let her kids near HP either. Shame because they really are good books!)

  6. When I hear that people won’t let their children read HP there’s a little explosion that goes off in my brain. These same people (yes, I have friends that do this) have allowed the books of Narnia to be read. I’m not sure I’m seeing much of a difference except that C.S. Lewis was religious (correct me if I’m wrong on that)

    To Kill A Mockingbird is probably one of those books that impacted me the most in high school. I just loved it.

    The Outsiders was a book I read on my own and I fell in love with every teen in that story and yet, I knew who was wrong and who was right.

    I haven’t really had a chance to read the rest. Brave New World, yes, The Catcher in the Rye (yes and I hated it because it was boring) and I think that’s it.

    I would think that parents would want to encourage their children to read and sometimes those things that are shocking make for the most interesting reads.

    Oh another that gets banned but made a huge impact on me was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Phenomenal and a book I think every young woman should read.

    CindyS

  7. “These same people (yes, I have friends that do this) have allowed the books of Narnia to be read.”

    LOL! My point as well. In FACT my nephew told his mom that … oh she didn’t like me bringing Star Wars to the kiddies either.

    Anyway after he said that to her and he told he gets the difference between right and wrong she’s eased up a tad … BUT still no HP.

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