Banned Books discussion

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GENERAL BOOK DISCUSSIONS > A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

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message 1: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (Rabbitearsblog) | 93 comments One of the most interesting book bannings that I have come across was Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic and there were many reasons why this book was banned. I'll list off the reasons:

1) The poem "How Not To Have To Dry The Dishes" encourages kids to break the dishes so that they don't have to wash them.

2) The poem "Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony" was considered too morbid for children since it dicusses death

3) The book was often criticized for mentioning supernatural themes, including demons, devils, and ghosts.

I want to know how you all think about the reasons why this book was banned and do you think that these reasons were appropriate?


message 2: by Manybooks (last edited Jun 20, 2010 10:14AM) (new)

Manybooks | 419 comments Ronyell wrote: "One of the most interesting book bannings that I have come across was Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic and there were many reasons why this book was banned. I'll list off the re..."

Was the book ever actually banned or severely restricted, or has it just been challenged? Having the book challenged (especially for the reasons you have listed) is bad enough, but it would be even worse if the challenges were actually successful.

And, while I can understand that certain books will be unappealing and even offensive to some readers, there is (in my opinion) never a good reason to officially ban books, as that is inherently undemocratic and Fascist.


message 3: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (Rabbitearsblog) | 93 comments I think this book was banned in several school. Here's the article at wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Light_...

I also agree with you that books should never be banned for these kind of reasons because it is usually the banned books that teaches children about various things that happen in our society such as violence and racism and banning books that teaches these complexing subjects will make many children oblivious to what has happened in the past and it is possible that these same events that happened in the past would resurface again if people do not read these banned books and discuss the issues with each other and talk about how they can make sure that these events would never happen again.


message 4: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 419 comments Ronyell wrote: "I think this book was banned in several school. Here's the article at wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Light_...

I also agree with you that books should never be banned for ..."


I agree, but besides that, the main reason why books should not be banned is because banning books is inherently undemocratic. It always strikes me as so ironic that the USA claims to be "the Land of the Free" and then goes ahead and tries to dictate what people, or certain people (like children) should be allowed to read. Again, you have a right to not like a book, to find a book offensive, to even prevent your child from reading this book. You do not (and should not) have the right to impose your ideas, your issues, your philosophy on others. You do not have the right to dictate what others are allowed to read.

One of the problems is also that some school boards are easily cowed and bullied, especially by special interest groups. Sometime, it takes only a few complaints to get a book banned, and that is not right.


message 5: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (Rabbitearsblog) | 93 comments Yes, I agree that even in the USA, people still try to banned books even though they know it's a violation of the "freedom of speech" and it's a shame that some people are trying to banned books for their own reasons instead of considering what other people think about the situation.


message 6: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 3 comments I remember Silverstein from my childhood!!! I loved them. But people to uppity over stupid crap all the time
Mark twain for god sakes (his era the language was acceptable)
People need to chill out just a Lil


message 7: by Sandi (new)

Sandi | 10 comments I just joined this group and amazed anyone would find anything in this book to complain about! I gave it to my husband's youngest daughter when a little girl. She passed it on to two granddaughters, now 15 & 16. I will borrow it back, but my opinion is school boards are the bane of education! The time wasted on these types of trivia is appalling! Is there a thread of general discussion of why this is happening versus a particular book?


message 8: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 419 comments Sandi wrote: "I just joined this group and amazed anyone would find anything in this book to complain about! I gave it to my husband's youngest daughter when a little girl. She passed it on to two granddaughters..."

Banning books is Fascist (there are a lot of books I don't like and even books I find inappropriate but that should NOT give me the right to impose my views and attitudes onto others). And for Light in the Attic, I do wonder why people would even consider wanting this book censored or banned? I mean what is wrong with discussing death and showing acts of disobedience (some people certainly are very insecure).


message 9: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (Rabbitearsblog) | 93 comments Gundula wrote: "Sandi wrote: "I just joined this group and amazed anyone would find anything in this book to complain about! I gave it to my husband's youngest daughter when a little girl. She passed it on to two ..."

I didn't see anything wrong in this book either. I mean, why would children easily imitate the idea about destroying dishes in order not to clean the dishes? I know that some children wouldn't even think about doing such a thing, for fear of getting into trouble.


message 10: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 419 comments Ronyell wrote: "Gundula wrote: "Sandi wrote: "I just joined this group and amazed anyone would find anything in this book to complain about! I gave it to my husband's youngest daughter when a little girl. She pass..."

The fact that some people actually assume that children would automatically imitate "deviant" behaviour they read or see is both amusing but also troubling (and makes me wonder if those individuals, if they have children, have their own children under control).


message 11: by Jane(Pixie) (new)

Jane(Pixie) (JanePixie_Mitzkewich) | 2 comments I am enjoying the discussion. Perhaps, those who ban should look in the mirror. What do their actions reflect back to these individuals thoughts, purposes or the world as they perceive? What does the banning say about who you banners are? Who is better? Who is to judge? I respect chldrens' intelligence. no interrence.


message 12: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (Rabbitearsblog) | 93 comments Jane(Pixie) wrote: "I am enjoying the discussion. Perhaps, those who ban should look in the mirror. What do their actions reflect back to these individuals thoughts, purposes or the world as they perceive? What does t..."

The thing I hate about these bannings is that some people think that small children are not intelligent enough to know whether or not these things are right or wrong. I think that children can tell the difference between right or wrong depending on how their parents react to the situation.


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