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Book Related Banter > Banned Book Week

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message 1: by Regan (new)

Regan | 19 comments Just to let everyone know this week, Sep 25- Oct 2 is Banned Book week in which libraries, authors, and people around the nation try to inform people about books that are banned in schools and public librabires and promote events to stress our (and our children's) first amendment right to read any book of our choice.

message 2: by Regan (new)

Regan | 19 comments

The Top Ten Ludicrous Reasons To Ban A Book

1. “Encourages children to break dishes so they won’t have to dry them.” ( A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstien)

2. “It caused a wave of rapes.” ( Arabian Nights, or One Thousand and One Nights)

3. “If there is a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it?” ( Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown)

4. “Tarzan was ‘living in sin’ with Jane.” ( Tarzan, by Edgar Rice Burroughs)

5. “It is a real ‘downer.’” ( Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank)

6. “The basket carried by Little Red Riding Hood contained a bottle of wine, which condones the use of alcohol.” ( Little Red Riding Hood, by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm K. Grimm)

7. “One bunny is white and the other is black and this ‘brainwashes’ readers into accepting miscegenation.” ( The Rabbit’s Wedding, by Garth Williams)

8. “It is a religious book and public funds should not be used to purchase religious books.” ( Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, by Walter A. Elwell, ed.)

9. “A female dog is called a bitch.” ( My Friend Flicka, by Mary O’Hara)

10. “An unofficial version of the story of Noah’s Ark will confuse children.” ( Many Waters, by Madeleine C. L’Engle)

message 3: by Katrina (new)

Katrina | 65 comments One of my favorites was in '94 in PA...the book: My Teacher Is an Alien by Bruce Coville , the reason: "portrays the main character as handling a problem on her own, rather than relying on the help of others" . Yep, kid you not, we can't have our children thinking for themselves.

message 4: by Regan (new)

Regan | 19 comments Yeah it is amazing the excuses that parents, schoolboards, and religious leaders give for banning a book, and the simple fact is it is all because they have fear of losing control of their children.

message 5: by Regan (new)

Regan | 19 comments Judy Blume on censorship

message 6: by Lahni (new)

Lahni | 290 comments Regan wrote: "Judy Blume on censorship"

Thanks for posting the link. I don't even think I "got" most of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret when I read it as a child. I remember reading books about alcoholism, drugs, child abuse, as well as books that were inappropriately sexual for my age. I also really enjoyed witchcraft and paranormal books. I guess I should be a drug seeking alcoholic sex addict who abuses my kids while practicing the dark arts. How did I become a valuable contributing member of society?

message 7: by Alex (new)

Alex I'm reading Huck Finn for Banned Book Week! Whee! It's awesome.

message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol Maybe I should re-read the all time favorite of banned books To Kill a Mockingbird to commemorate this week.

message 9: by Katrina (new)

Katrina | 65 comments I am reading In Cold Blood and when I finish it I am going to read The Call of the Wild. I haven't read it either but have had them on my to read list for years, thought I would finally get them read in honor of the week.

message 10: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 597 comments i'm planning on reading Speak which has been challenged and banned because its "soft core porn"...however, anyone who has read it, knows its about a teenager who is raped and doesn't speak the entire school year and she basically learns that she has to speak in order to be heard and to cope

message 11: by Regan (new)

Regan | 19 comments I have heard that Speak is really good and I think I am going to pick it up soon. I just read The Handmaid's Tale and The House of Spirits from the ALA list of banned books. It is usually the ones that are banned that are the most intesterting and meaningful.

message 12: by Alex (new)

Alex Kitty, I've read To Kill A Mockingbird twice and loved it both times. Beautiful, huh?

I just finished Huck Finn and thought it was brilliant but a lot of books that're worth reading, to echo Regan's point.

message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol I try to read it every couple of years Alex and I still enjoy it as much as ever. It is one of my favorites.

message 14: by Alex (new)

Alex Kitty, my trouble comes at the very end. SPOILERS! Tom has just played this incredibly cruel game with Jim, and Jim doesn't seem angry at all. Kinda, "Well hey, at least I'm free!" Never mind that he was chained to a bed for a month and nearly killed because Tom had to have his kicks. Twain means for us, the audience, to be angry...but I wanted Jim to be angry too. And I wanted him to say, "What about my family?" I guess I didn't think Twain went far enough in humanizing Jim. What do you think?

message 15: by Carol (new)

Carol Huck was easy and laid back, nothing much bothered him. He epitomized the slow churning essence of the Mississippi river and the people who lived around it. That was my take on Huck and why Twain wrote his character that way.

message 16: by Alex (new)

Alex Yeah, no, I agree about Huck - I'm more concerned with Jim.

message 17: by Carol (new)

Carol Jim had been taught that slavery is natural and that was his lot in life. Many slaves felt they deserved no better. Jim was a simple man who wanted few things in life. I have known people who feel that way also, they accept the old adage; give me the grace to accept the things I can not change. We know better. People do cause things to change. But Jim was a calm before the storm.

message 18: by Alex (last edited Sep 29, 2010 09:25AM) (new)

Alex That's a great point, Kitty, and it's precisely what I'm struggling with. There were many pissed off slaves, but there were also many who took a more passive tack - at least on the outside - because there are all kinds of people. So is it proper for me to take Twain to task because he chose to depict a black man of a different sort than the black man I personally wanted him to depict? That doesn't seem fair. It's his book, after all.

And just because Jim didn't say he was pissed doesn't mean he wasn't. We're never allowed inside Jim's head - or anyone's, other than Huck's - so we don't know what he was thinking. We know that Jim wasn't given to expressing forceful opinions; he'd learned that the best way to deal with white people was to duck his head.

Twain clearly wanted to humanize black people; that's one of the major points of the book. And he may have made a conscious decision not to show anger because he thought that was the best strategy.

message 19: by Carol (new)

Carol Were they ever allowed into slaves heads I think not , We have to remember the times. It was dangerous for blacks and the people who sided with slaves. Twain's family after all owned slaves and he had a former slave as a butler supposedly. We might want to move this to a different thread unless we have finished.

message 20: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 711 comments Just started reading The Chocolate War for banned book week. I'm always amazed at the reasons certain books were challenged-like Anne Frank being a "real downer." I think the same was said for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The Bluest Eye

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak was challenged because the cartoon boy doesn't have pants on. I think if you find a cartoon drawing of a little boy's butt sexual there is something seriously wrong with you!

message 21: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (Bellamy22) | 610 comments Amen...

message 22: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 262 comments I love banned book week - it is the only time I can get my kids to read! (ha ha). I am going to read Their Eyes Were Watching God.

message 23: by Dacoroman (new)

Dacoroman | 182 comments Hello guys!

I just want to inform you about censorship in a communist country. I am Romanian and Romania was a communist country until I was 14 years old. Of course, we had censorship but reading how many books are falling under this controversial war is scary. The books forbidden back then, in my childhood, where only few, like The Catcher in the Rye. Back then we could read with no problem The Call of the Wild / White Fang by Jack London or The Adventures of Tom Sawyer/Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Actually, these book were on a list of recommended/compulsory books for vacations.

So guys, what's going on? I mean, a communist country's censorship is looser then there? What kind of a background education the censors have? Where is the freedom of speech?

message 24: by Regan (new)

Regan | 19 comments well luckly it is not the government that ban the books, but the parents, school boards and religious leaders that request a book be banned from a school or library and even though the schools and librabries are governmentally funded, it is in the voting power of the people to ban the books, not the government. The US use to ban books with the 'Comstock law' but that ended decades ago.
As for the education of the people who challange these books, I for the most part have noticed most are Christains who find the books to challanged/contradict their teachings. (Books that are challanged for that are Harry Potter seriers, A Wrinkle in Time books, etc) Other books the parents find to be 'offesive' and teach their children 'misbehavoir'. I believe they are afraid the literature is going to influence their child to behave the same, which I think shows a lack of respect for the children and of understanding and discoonection with their child's life and opinions.

(As a note, these comments are generalities and do not apply to every situation or person.)

message 25: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Oct 06, 2010 11:29AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 1735 comments One of my personal favorite reasons for banning was from South Africa, when it was under aparteid.

Black Beauty was banned. The censor had never read it, figured it was "political," and had no idea it was a Victorian children's book about horses!

message 26: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 5 comments I proudly wear my "I read banned books" button when I sub in high schools, and I'm always surprised at how few kids really believe that banning books is still happening. Fahrenheit 451 is one of my favorites to read and to teach. I like to point out how prescient Bradbury was, writing about the TV screens that take up the whole wall, and the interactive shows that allow you as a viewer to "be" in the scene. We are almost there, what with "reality shows" where everyone is a celebrity, and it doesn't take talent of any kind, nor does it last 15 minutes anymore. Rebel! Read and think things others are afraid of! Be independent! Think for yourself!

message 27: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (Bellamy22) | 610 comments You GO GIRL!!!

message 28: by Alex (new)

Alex That's awesome, Fiona. :)

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Books mentioned in this topic

My Teacher is an Alien (other topics)
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (other topics)
To Kill a Mockingbird (other topics)
In Cold Blood (other topics)
The Call of the Wild (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Bruce Coville (other topics)
Mark Twain (other topics)
Jack London (other topics)