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Book Chat > Favorite Banned or Challenged Books

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message 1: by Stella (last edited Aug 31, 2018 04:58AM) (new)

Stella | 108 comments Since banned book week is coming up so I thought it would be cool to share some of our favorites reads and to-reads that have been banned or challenged.

Creative Orange (Rumell Khan) (rkrespectedmember) | 1012 comments I don't get how some books are banned.

message 3: by Nyla (last edited Aug 31, 2018 11:10AM) (new)

Nyla (nylap) | 71 comments Rumell wrote: "I don't get how some books are banned."

There are a lot of misconceptions about this. Since I live in the United States, I can speak about what happens here. It may be different in other countries.
Most challenges to books are at a local level, such as an individual library, or a partiular school district. Before a book is "banned" it is "challenged" in some way. This usually involves a person filing a complaint about a particular book, and requesting that it be removed from a collection, or removed from a school curriculum. That complaint is then examined by the board of directors of that particular institution. They have to decide if they agree with the complaint and want to remove that book, or if they want to maintain that book in their collection, curriculum, etc. If they decide to remove the book, then it can now be called "banned." But it is still only banned in that particular organization or location. The book may very well still be available in the next town over, or taught in schools in other cities.
Many books that are challenged are never actually banned. When we talk about banned books, though, we include challenged books in this discussion. Challenges to these books are equivalent to challenges to our Freedom of Speech, which is a Constitutional Right in the United States.
In my case, the World History and Cultures textbook I taught from for many years was challenged on two occasions. One was a parent who felt the book conflicted with her religion's teaching about the age of the Earth. Another objected that the book discussed the gods and goddesses of the ancient cultures described in the book, such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. In both cases, the School Board upheld the use of the book in the World History curriculum, based on the constitutional separation of Church and State. So the book was never actually "banned" in our school district. But since every school district governs itself independently, that same book could be successfully challenged somewhere else.
In some other countries, the national government can and does ban books. For example, when I was preparing to travel to China several years ago, I was advised to finish reading Wild Swans before I left on my trip. Since that book is banned in China, I could have been arrested for possession of it while in that country. It's always a good idea to know (and obey) the laws of any country you are visiting!

Creative Orange (Rumell Khan) (rkrespectedmember) | 1012 comments Oh I see.

message 5: by Nyla (new)

Nyla (nylap) | 71 comments A few of my favorite books that have been challenged/banned . . .
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby
To Kill a Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird, #1) by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brave New World
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
In Cold Blood

Creative Orange (Rumell Khan) (rkrespectedmember) | 1012 comments The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely not banned. Maybe challenged but not banned.

message 7: by Nyla (new)

Nyla (nylap) | 71 comments The American Library Association has loads of really great information on their website. (Again, I am speaking about the United States, because that is my own experience. Maybe someone else can chime in with sources representing other countries?)
This link does explain that To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the most challenged books in the United States, has actually been banned in several locations.

message 8: by Creative Orange (last edited Aug 31, 2018 10:15PM) (new)

Creative Orange (Rumell Khan) (rkrespectedmember) | 1012 comments I guess it isn't banned or challenged in the UK.

message 9: by Anne (new)

Anne Vivliohomme (annevivliohomme) What? To Kill a Mockingbird is a banned book? I didn't know! It's an amazing novel and I love it :)

I think it's so weird that banning books is allowed.. It makes me think of George Orwell's 1984, where there is a dictatorship and a lot of books are banned. I didn't know that books are still banned nowadays, I think it's such an old-fashioned concept. I also think it is ridiculous that some people can decide what you read, because to me it is just as horrible as not allowing freedom of speech...

message 10: by Anne (new)

Anne Vivliohomme (annevivliohomme) Apparently 1984 is challenged too because of "pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter."

message 11: by Creative Orange (new)

Creative Orange (Rumell Khan) (rkrespectedmember) | 1012 comments Anne wrote: "What? To Kill a Mockingbird is a banned book? I didn't know! It's an amazing novel and I love it :)

I think it's so weird that banning books is allowed.. It makes me think of George Orwell's 1984,..."

I agree. We don't live in the 1984 anymore this is 2018. I exactly agree with you. The language is completely old-fashioned. People able to infer the 'sexual' is very minute.

message 12: by Melliott (new)

Melliott (goodreadscommelliott) | 446 comments The difference between here and other countries (and you can read more about this on ala.org) is that books may be banned in one locale but not generally. For instance, some nervous City Manager who has a mom screaming in the newspapers that their city library is purveying offensive books to their children, may demand that the library director pull those books from the shelves. Most library directors, to their credit, will stand up for the books and refuse to do so, and some have lost their jobs over it. But I can't name one book that has been universally banned in the United States, only in specific locales. Most of the controversy is over either sex or religion. Occasionally politics.

message 13: by Pam (new)

Pam Carmichael | 154 comments Anne wrote: "What? To Kill a Mockingbird is a banned book? I didn't know! It's an amazing novel and I love it :)

I think it's so weird that banning books is allowed.. It makes me think of George Orwell's 1984,..."

I so agree with you Anne!!!!

message 14: by Anne (new)

Anne Vivliohomme (annevivliohomme) Oh I did think that the books were banned in the entire USA. Banning books on a small scale is not as dictatorship-like as I thought! But for someone living far away from another library I think banning books from that place is quite drastic. Because even though the book is available in other places, it may still be out of reach for one person. However, a very small library can have the same effect as banning books, but banning is restricting books on purpose..

message 15: by Anne (new)

Anne Vivliohomme (annevivliohomme) But I'm the kind of person who wants to have HUGE libraries everywhere and I'm already annoyed when they only have the ugly version at my local bookstore! So when they ban books I can get kind of mad... Sorry, hahaha!

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