Thursday, September 28, 2006

Banned Books Week

We're always celebrating something aren't we? This week is the official Banned Books week. The American Library Association keeps track of those books most frequently banned. I was looking at the list and saw many classics (To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies...), some that I just think are gross (Captain Underpants) and some that would be good discussion starters as to why people don't agree with the material (Harry Potter). I've read 11 of the 25 books. Three I read as required reading in high school. One I read to my 2nd grade class a few years back. It makes me wonder about the rights of free speech and what good banning books does anyways. I understand objections to some of these books, but I also believe in learning from them. Banning something does not make it go away. You may not agree with the portrayal of African Americans in To Kill a Mockingbird, but does that change history? The book was written to capture a part of America's past. And was one of the best books I've ever read. You may not want your child reading Harry Potter because of it's associations with witchcraft and wizardry, but why not take it as a opportunity to discuss your objections with them. They are well written books.
Here's the list of the top 25 "objectionable" many have you read?

"Harry Potter" (Series) (J.K. Rowling)
"To Kill a Mockingbird" (Harper Lee)
"The Color Purple" (Alice Walker)
"The Outsiders" (S.E. Hinton)
"Lord of the Flies" (William Golding)
"Of Mice and Men" (John Steinbeck)
"Goosebumps" (Series) (R.L. Stine)
"How to Eat Fried Worms" (Thomas Rockwell)
"The Catcher in the Rye" (J.D. Salinger)
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (Mark Twain)
"The Giver" (Lois Lowry)
"Brave New World" (Aldous Huxley)
"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (Mark Twain)
"Captain Underpants" (Dav Pilkey)
"The Anarchist Cookbook" (William Powell)
"Carrie" (Stephen King)
"Flowers for Algernon" (Daniel Keyes)
"The Dead Zone" (Stephen King)
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (Maya Angelou)
"Go Ask Alice" (anonymous)
"American Psycho" (Bret Easton Ellis)
"The Chocolate War" (Robert Cormier)
"James and the Giant Peach" (Roald Dahl)
"The Pigman" (Paul Zindel)
"A Wrinkle in Time" (Madeleine L'Engle)


At 3:55 PM, Blogger gray said...

I'm really surprised by some of those books! (I've read 11 of them as well.) A Wrinkle in Time is one of my all time favorites. I re read it often.

I agree. You can't change history by denying it. And you can't protect kids forever by putting them in a bubble. Eventually they'll outgrow it. Then what will they know? Not how to be in the world but not of it, that's for sure.

At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9 books for me...ohhhh ponyboy. The outsiders was a fun one to read, but nothing beats growing up with MULTIPLE amounts of Goosebumps. hahaha...I had the whole collection a good 40 of them anyways.

fun times

At 3:32 AM, Anonymous JDoan said...

The list makes me think, why is it 'banned' - James and the Giant Peach - what on earth is wrong with that book.... American Psycho is not a nice book - and I am afraid that the metaphors in it would get lost on someone in say grade 8 - but I think what is getting lost here is that ANY book promotes literacy - and isn't that what libraries are for? Heck ban EVERY newspaper then - they have more violence and debauchery than all theose books combined

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Angela Mae said...

I've read 13 of those books and most of them I loved!! I am really surprised that some of them are considered objectionable... "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" is a beautifully written tale of survival... *sigh* and yet Bush wants no child to be left behind and books are being banned, books that generate interest in reading.
Kris, you always find the most intersting topics. Thanks for that! *^^*


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