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Banned Books Week

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message 1: by Tyler (new)

Tyler Lutz (tylerlutz) | 233 comments Tomorrow marks the beginning of Banned Books Week. I created a display at our library and in researching which books to put out, I found some interesting titles:

Green Eggs and Ham
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
The Dictionary
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Alice in Wonderland
James and the Giant Peach
Alice (YA series)
A Light in the Attic
Harriet, the Spy

and less shocking but still interesting:

Naked Lunch
Harry Potter series
The Canterbury Tales
The God Delusion
A Clockwork Orange


and of course, the classics:

1984
Brave New World
Huckleberry Finn
Lord of the Flies
Fahrenheit 451
The Bible

and many, many more...

Anyone know of any crazy stories of books being banned, either by schools, governments or any other crazy organizations?


message 2: by Celine (new)

Celine | 36 comments Neil Gaiman posted a list of the top 10 most frequently challenged books in 2011 on his tumblr, here.

For those who can't follow the link, they are:

1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

I've only read 3, 5, and 10, but the reasons listed seem pretty silly.


message 3: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 700 comments Celine wrote: "Neil Gaiman posted a list of the top 10 most frequently challenged books in 2011 on his tumblr, here.

For those who can't follow the link, they are:

1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren My..."


How the heck do you get anti-ethnic and satanic from the hunger games?


message 4: by Stan (new)

Stan Slaughter | 359 comments My wife once stopped a parent from yanking the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty from my daughters elementary school library.

The parent walked in and just started removing books from the shelf. Sleeping Beauty because it mentioned Magic and Witches.

Some people just are just weird.


message 5: by Erik (new)

Erik Redin (erik_redin) | 145 comments We do a display for Banned Book Week at the library I work at too. Sadly, this year it did not involve the giant metal cage we normally build around the mass of books (people are much more interested in checking a book out if you've put it inside a giant metal cage).

AND TANGO MAKES THREE is a recent picture book that's been challenged a bunch because a pair of gay penguins are a huge menace apparently.

I know we always have patrons who ask about the display and are truly baffled that there are people in this country who still try to get books banned.


message 6: by Mark (last edited Oct 01, 2012 12:38AM) (new)

Mark Kaye | 121 comments I didn't think there were any banned books in this day and age. Challenged etc maybe, but I would have thought, at least in the western world, (no rascim intended there, sorry) that banning a book would cause a tremedous nasty upevil.

Or that could just be my naivety.


message 7: by Diana (last edited Oct 01, 2012 12:45AM) (new)

Diana | 8 comments Celine wrote: "Neil Gaiman posted a list of the top 10 most frequently challenged books in 2011 on his tumblr, here...

Anyone else disturbed by the fact that 7 of these 10 books were written by women? What's so scary about intelligent women voicing their ideas, hmmmmmm....?


message 8: by Kevin (last edited Oct 02, 2012 03:09PM) (new)

Kevin | 700 comments Saranar wrote: "I didn't think there were any banned books in this day and age. Challenged etc maybe, but I would have thought, at least in the western world, (no rascim intended there, sorry) that banning a book ..."

In Belgium (and I'm guessing most of Western Europe) the only banned book I'm aware off is Mein Kampf. It's banned in that you can't distribute it (either for free, or for money). But you can own, read and even lend it to friends.

It's not so much that the book is banned, but that it falls under the anti-racism and discrimination laws I believe.

Anywya, it's a special case. These parts still carry around a lot of baggage from WW2.


message 9: by Emy (new)

Emy (EmyPT) | 98 comments Myself and one of the other librarians are setting up out display right NOW! :) Hopefully it'll encourage our college kids to read (UK college, i.e. no university level)


message 10: by Kate (new)

Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 778 comments Diana wrote: "I didn't think there were any banned books in this day and age. Challenged etc maybe, but I would have thought, at least in the western world, (no rascim intended there, sorry) that banning a book would cause a tremedous nasty upevil.

Or that could just be my naivety.


The last books banned under Irish obscenity were banned in 1998, the obscenity ban had a twelve year term and in 2010 they were all allowed to lapse and became legal again.

There are currently eight books banned in Ireland on the grounds that they 'advocate the procurement of abortion or miscarriage or the use of any method, treatment or appliance for the purpose of such procurement.'

Weirdly since 1992 it's actually been legal for information about abortion in other countries to be made available in Ireland (through books, pamphlets, etc). But books banned under that law were banned permanently and the ban did not need renewal. None of the eight currently banned books will be made legal unless someone appeals their ban. One assumes that Ireland's pro-choice lobby has more pressing concerns.

There are about 200 magazines still technically banned in Ireland. http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/JELR/Regist... Though my understanding is that these bans are not enforced.


message 11: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5139 comments Mod
i09 has an an article about it


message 12: by Alterjess (new)

Alterjess | 319 comments Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

I have to know...what on earth is there about this book that anyone could object to?? Or was it something about Eric Carle?


message 13: by Kate (new)

Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 778 comments Alterjess wrote: "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
"


According to this article the Texas board of education confused Brown Bear's author with another writer with the same name who wrote a book about Marxism.

Way to go Texas.


message 14: by Emy (new)

Emy (EmyPT) | 98 comments Sounds similar to the Winnie the Pooh incident. Just even dafter! >.<


message 15: by Alterjess (new)

Alterjess | 319 comments Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? / I see the proletariat rising up to overthrow the capitalist system looking at me!


message 16: by Seawood (new)

Seawood | 129 comments Alterjess wrote: "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? / I see the proletariat rising up to overthrow the capitalist system looking at me!"

pmsl. I have the giant storytime version of that which I'm due to read in class shortly. Now I'll be snickering all the way through, thanks!


message 17: by Michael (new)

Michael Mitsuda | 15 comments I just LOVE these lists of banned books: They give me ideas to what to read next (if I have not read them yet!)

And I truly wonder if the idiots who try to ban "1984" and "Fahrenheit 451" can understand and appreciate the irony? But then again, the book-banners are being their uneducated selves so probably not.


message 18: by Smyers (new)

Smyers | 5 comments I grew up in a rather socially conservative area in the US and often had my reading material challenged by teachers, especially when I was younger. There were several instances when I was challenged for reading "age-inappropriate" material.

My favorite experience were the times when they would call my parents to complain. Watching their faces as my mom gave them an ear-full for discouraging literacy was hilarious :) This happened both at the private christian school I went over the summer, dont ask, and at the public school. Ironically it was at the public school where I was challenged on reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead.


message 19: by Smyers (new)

Smyers | 5 comments Saranar wrote: "I didn't think there were any banned books in this day and age. Challenged etc maybe, but I would have thought, at least in the western world, (no rascim intended there, sorry) that banning a book ..."

It doesnt happen at the federal level in the United States. Oftentimes it is voluntary banning by local and public school libraries. My high school had a banned book section where we needed a parental note to access the books.


message 20: by Simon (last edited Oct 03, 2012 05:55AM) (new)

Simon Cooper (Simonacooperesq) | 3 comments We have recently been reminded of the scandal surrounding the publication of 'The Satanic Verses' by Salman Rushdie, with the recent publication of his memoir 'Joseph Anton'. The Fatwah against Rushdie has never been rescinded because Ayatollah Khomeini died, and under Iranian Islamic law, an edict of this nature stays in place in perpetuity if not repealed before the death of the instigator.
As I understand it, no individual readers of the book have been killed, but translators have fallen victim. Rushdie himself feels that the book would not be published today, and called upon the courage of present-day authors to continue to speak their mind in the face of the suppression of freee speech.


message 21: by John (new)

John (kilowog42) | 27 comments See, the idea that schools still ban books is fascinating to me. I grew up in a conservative area and more often than not if I was reading a "questionable" book, I would be challenged on it to the extent that my teachers and parents wanted to make sure I wasn't just reading something like Brave New World because there was sex in it, but because of the bigger message within it. We had a bunch of people who didn't like many of the books that were banned for a variety of reasons in other places, but most were supportive of the fact that young people were expanding their horizons and reading.

A particular woman who was quite angry the Harry Potter books promoted witchcraft told me that if people who disagree with them don't read them, then they are just as capable of hurting the cause than helping.

Its odd to think that my conservative small town promoted wider ranges of critical thinking than other places.....


message 22: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5139 comments Mod
Tor.com has collected some quotes from various authors talking about banning of books over the years.


message 23: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 2143 comments Good timing on my part.. I just finished 1984 this week :)


message 24: by Charlie (new)

Charlie | 46 comments To this day Brave New World is one of the greatest influences in how I view cultural institutions in our everyday lives. I am not a conspiracy wacko but it makes you question authority.


message 25: by Alexa (new)

Alexa | 3 comments I know that the Giver by Lois Lowry is a banned which I think is ridiculous. It was always one of my favorite books as a young adult. Apparently what was objectionable was the concept of euthanasia. I don't know, I just think young adults are smarter then we give them credit for.


message 26: by Joe Informatico (new)

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 866 comments At my library we occasionally get adults demanding that certain children's books be moved to the adult section just because bad things happen to the main character. You know, what the rest of us call the plot. (e.g. a lot of children's fiction involves absent parents, even if only short-term, because it's hard to have a dramatic story about overcoming odds when you have an obvious deus ex parentis on hand)

But it's really common to target material aimed at young people. I expect most of these people have the best of intentions, but they're usually thoroughly misguided. Even among some of my most intelligent, highly-educated friends, there's this notion that anything children read should be positive, edifying, and educational. But kids have as much of an appetite for trash as adults do, and they can and should read things they enjoy as well. It helps them see reading as a pleasurable, worthwhile activity, and not a chore.


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