Monday, September 29, 2008

Banned Books

Hey, it's banned books week. (Thanks to Bookshelves of Doom for alerting me to it.)
I'm always stymied to find a very good sex ed book for kids on the list of frequently banned books, It's Perfectly Normal. I think it's probably on there because it says that homosexual feelings can be normal for some people. Also there's the perennial favorite Huckleberry Finn, because the "n" word outweighs the egalitarian ideas, naturally. And then there are those dangerous witchcraft manuals, the Harry Potter books!
Learn more about banned books here, and then tell me what's your favorite banned book!


Anonymous said...

A couple of years ago, for the first time since high school, I re-read The Catcher in the Rye. Before I began, I was convinced that I was going to hate it, that I would think that Holden was even more of a self-centered jerk than I thought him back then.

It turns out that I really liked the book. Holden's not so bad. But, poor Phoebe. . . .

paj said...

After reading the list of frequently banned books, I'm beginning to wonder if I read anything that hasn't been challenged. A world without Captain Underpants would be a stark world indeed for many elementary school age readers.
As for my personal favorite banned book, I can't choose from the following: The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, and As I Lay Dying.

lemming said...

I loathe, abominate and despite "the Grapes of Wrath" but it was fascinating to listen to a piece about it on NPR this morning. apparently someone found a migrant farmer who hadn't actually read the book, but was willing to be photographed burning it. Years later he read the book and said eh had no regrets.

The folks who want Narnia banned don't know what it's really about. the people who want Harry Potter banned generally haven't read enough of it to know what it's about.

I think my favorite is "Heather has Two Mommies." If you read the book, it's actually about families coming in all shapes and sizes - some kids just have a mother, some have a step-mother, some are being raised by grandparents... but the title throws everyone off.

CSchu said...

Well, it's easy to answer the question about which is my favorite banned book (series): Harry Potter. There is no other book series that my family has loved enough to read every instance OUT LOUD in a marathon as soon as it came out.

Jeanne, you are probably (and sadly) naive that "It's Perfectly Natural" is banned only because it says that gay feelings are sometimes natural. I haven't read the book, but my guess is that it is a healthy sex education book and there are PLENTY of people who will want to ban such a book even if it is only about heterosexual sex.

I was mystified by some of the books on the "most challenged list." Where's Waldo? (????) Why on earth do people want to challenge Where's Waldo? (Kid's get distracted and don't listen to Mom when they are searching for the elusive little guy? They go blind because the pics are small? What?

Last of all, I found the ALA explanation of the distinction between "challenged" books and "banned" books interesting. It seems that many of the books that people frequently say are "banned" books are more likely to be challenged but not actually banned.