Posts Tagged ‘Challenged Books’


Thursday Thirteen #86

It’s Banned Books Week again!

Ah, the lure of the Forbidden. As a general rule, all that happens when you challenge or ban a book is that you make other folks curious, and then they want to read it to find out what the excitement is all about. Cause enough of a stink and chances are someone will want to make a movie out of the book. Which will, of course, make folks curious about the book again. Especially if you insist on protesting the film. All that does is provide free marketing. So, really, if you don’t like a book, that’s just fine. Don’t read it. The moment you try to stop others from reading it too, your attempts are just going to have the opposite effect from what you want.

(Seriously. It’s like telling me not to touch something. I have never outgrown the childish need to come running over and say “I’m not touching it” while waving my hands really close to whatever the item is.)

Anyway, here is a list of Thirteen Banned or Challenged books that I have read. What Forbidden Literature have you perused? If you need a little memory jog, check out ALA’s Banned Books Site.

13 Banned or Challenged Books I Have Read:

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (Loved it)

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Liked it more than I expected to)

3. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Not really my thing)

4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (Loved it)

5. A Separate Peace by John Knowles (Liked it)

6. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford (Really fun)

7. Harry Potter (series) by J. K. Rowling (Loved them)

8. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein (Loved it)

9. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (Liked it)

10. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (Loved it)

11. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton (Loved it)

12. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Liked it)

13. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (Liked it)

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Did you know:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was banned in China (1931) for portraying animals and humans on the same level.

Four members of the Alabama State Textbook Committee (1983) called for the rejection of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl because it is a “real downer.”

Gulliver’s Travels was denounced as wicked and obscene in Ireland (1726).

James and the Giant Peach has been challenged at the Pederson Elementary School in Altoona, Wis. (1991) and at the Morton Elementary School library in Brooksville, Fla. (1992) because the book contains the word “ass” and “promotes” the use of drugs (tobacco, snuff) and whiskey.

Le Morte D’Arthur was challenged as required reading at the Pulaski County High School in Somerset, Ky. (1997) because it is “junk.”

The Lorax was challenged in the Laytonville, Calif. Unified School District (1989) because it “criminalizes the foresting industry.”

Where the Sidewalk Ends was challenged at the West Allis-West Milwaukee, Wis. school libraries (1986) because the book “suggests drug use, the occult, suicide, death, violence, disrespect for truth, disrespect for legitimate authority, rebellion against parents.”

Where’s Waldo? was removed from the Springs Public School library in East Hampton, N.Y. (1993) because there is a tiny drawing of a woman lying on the beach wearing a bikini bottom but no top.

Celebrate your freedom. Read a banned book.

Information sources: The Forbidden Library (now defunct, sadly) & ALA

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