Here’s an old post about banned books that I found interesting and STILL RELEVANT.
As an aspiring librarian and avid children’s book lover, I don’t condone banning books.
In the past I have published a list of banned books from 1990 – 2000 and I highlighted the books that I had read. Recently, one of my readers gave me the newest list which I just HAD to share portions of.
The reasons for the challenge and my comments follow:
- Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling (promotes witchcraft, too dark)
- Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (sexual content and offensive language)
- The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier (nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language)
- And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell (homosexuality)
- Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck (racist, profanity)
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou (racism, sexual content)
- Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz (occult, violence)
- His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman (anti religious content)
- TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Myracle, Lauren (Sexually explicit, offensive language, drugs)
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (homosexuality, sexually explicit, drugs, suicide)
I have read the titles in bold and my Pumpkin just finished and loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Perks has just been made into a movie and is currently also on many summer reading lists in my area. I’m sure it’ll get more challenges as more people become aware of it. I’ll prolly never read Scary Stories because I’m a big chicken and don’t like to be scared. Smile.
So…according to those who challenge books, children should not read books that contain witchcraft or the occult, contain racism, talk about sex, drug use, suicide, homosexuality, are anti religious, violent, or use profanity. So what does that leave kids left to read? Nothing much, really. Hey, even Capt Underpants has been challenged!
I will refrain from arguing against censorship because if you are reading this you probably feel, like me, that information wants to be free. Nor do I want to talk about parenting and how you should only censor YOUR children, not everyone else’s. Do not get me wrong, I am not anti religion or anti family or anti anything else. Number 1 son says I am anti discrimination. Yeah.
Marshall University is a great resource for banned books (http://www.marshall.edu/library/bannedbooks/default.asp), check them out. You can also go right to the source and visit The American Library Association’s website for a complete listing.
What are your feelings about banning books?