Banned Books Week 2011

30 Sep

I’m a little late to this party, considering the week ends tomorrow, but I wanted to ruminate on the banning of books for a moment.

Before I get started, here’s list of the most frequently challenged books of 2010, according to the ALA.

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexi Reasons: offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  3. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, and sexually explicit
  4. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  6. Lush, by Natasha Friend Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  8. Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, and religious viewpoint
  9. Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie Reasons:  homosexuality and sexually explicit
  10. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence

I’m interested to know how many of the books from that list people have read. Did you enjoy them or not? I have to admit I’ve only read a few: And Tango Makes Three (which is adorable and about penguins!, The Hunger Games, and Brave New World. I should really get on reading more of that list! I think that The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian will be my next one, as I’ve heard good things about it.

I have never agreed with the idea of banning books, and my last three years spent working towards my masters to be a Media Specialist has made me even more adverse to the idea. I think that the responsibility for what a child reads is entirely up to the parents. And that the parents only have the right and responsibility to dictate what their child reads and should not be able to have that opinion forced on a school, a library, a classroom, a teacher or another child.

However, I do have a great story that ties to the banning of a book! When I was in high school there was a mother here in Gwinnett County, Georgia who raised an enormous fuss over removing the Harry Potter books from the county schools (this is an articlewritten far after I’d graduated, but it’s still the same woman). As my mom was a Gwinnett County teacher she figured she ought to read the four books that were out to see what the fuss was about.

She read through all four books in a week and then promptly turned around to hand them telling me I would love them. I read managed to read them all in four days (four school days, I might add). I was hooked from the first page and as you can tell from previous posts (and if you follow @breakthebind on twitter) I became quite the Potter fan.

I’m sure that I would have read them eventually, but the woman raising such a fuss about it accomplished the exact opposite of her goal. R ather than succeeding in banning the book and making it less desirable to read she managed to my mom, my dad and I all to read the books (and fall instantly in love with them!). That’s when I learned the lesson that the fastest way to get kids and teens to read a book is to try to ban it, as kids are programmed to do exactly what they are told not to.

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Posted by on 30 September, 2011 in Uncategorized


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