Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banned Books Week - Sept 25th to Oct 2nd

While I was studying in the US, my library in West Lafayette, IN had such a great Banned Books Week feature - they wrapped the books in brown paper (no titles visible) and encouraged visitors to take one home and see what novel it was. They had segregated the books by reason for being banned, so you could pick based on a reason that tickled your curiosity. I chose one that had been banned for Religious reasons, and returned home to unwrap my present - it was by the great Kurt Vonnegut. In honor of Banned Books Week, this post highlights a few books that were banned, and some of the silliest reasons used for challenging and banning books.   Some other shockingly banned books are:
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger 
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller 
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell 
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday

Some reasons for Banning books:
  1. “Tarzan was ‘living in sin’ with Jane.” ( Tarzan, by Edgar Rice Burroughs) 
  2. “It is a real ‘downer.’” ( Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank) - like, duh!
  3. “The basket carried by Little Red Riding Hood contained a bottle of wine, which condones the use of alcohol.” ( Little Red Riding Hood, by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm)
 and one of my personal favorites:
4. “An unofficial version of the story of Noah’s Ark will confuse children.” ( Many Waters, by Madeleine C. L’Engle) 
 To find out more about Banned Books Week, read the ALA website here. A list of Most Commonly Challenged Books is here at Wikipedia.
Was there a book that you were shocked to find out was banned?
Did a banned book have a positive impact on your life, or while growing up? Do Share!

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  1. Gone With the Wind is a challenged book?! Weird! :)

  2. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing.

  3. thanks! I was so shocked to find out gone with the wind was also challenged :)

  4. Good grief!!! Haha, some of those reasons are SOOO pathetic. Of COURSE Anne Frank is a downer... um, hello. Maybe the people trying to ban it were also the same people who denied the Holocaust happened?! lol. And Many Waters? Come on, I read that when I was a kid and I'm surely not confused. People underestimate kids...

  5. Gone With the Wind? Huck Finn? I'm surprised at a lot of them (and how many I've read...) Goes to show we are a little more open minded nowadays...

  6. @sam - I don't think we're that open minded yet, these books are still on the 100 most challenged books (current list) - meaning that every year some people decide that these books are unfit to be read by others like us.


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