Today on Blogcritics
Home » Banned Book Week September 24 to October 1, 2005

Banned Book Week September 24 to October 1, 2005

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

null
Image: ALA President’s Prize
“A Reach for Knowledge” by Susan Matsubara, Lexington (Ky.) Public Library

[I]t’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers. —Judy Blume

This is Banned Books Week, September 24 to October 1, 2005. “Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year.”

The list of the most challenged titles includes the Harry Potter series of fantasy books for children by J.K. Rowling. Some parents, among others, believe the books promote witchcraft to children. However, the Harry Potter series has probably done more to get children reading than any other books published since the 1950’s. How can this be a bad thing?

Other “Most Challenged” titles include: Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers, for racism, sexual content, offensive language, drugs and violence; It’s Perfectly Normal, a sex education book by Robie Harris, for being too explicit, especially for children; King and King by Linda de Haan, for homosexuality; and We All Fall Down by Robert Carmier, for offensive language and sexual content.

Atop the 2004 most challenged book list is The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. Here are some complaints according to the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom: “The book drew complaints from parents and others concerned about the book’s sexual content, offensive language, religious viewpoint and violence.”

Also three of the 10 books on the “Ten Most Challenged Books of 2004″ were cited for homosexual themes; the highest number in a decade. Offensive language and sexual content are the most frequent reasons given by those seeking removal of books from schools and public libraries.

The most frequently challenged, are:

  • The Chocolate War for sexual content, offensive language, religious viewpoint, being unsuited to age group and violence
  • Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers, for racism, offensive language and violence
  • Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture by Michael A. Bellesiles, for inaccuracy and political viewpoint
  • Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey, for offensive language and modeling bad behavior
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, for homosexuality, sexual content and offensive language
  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones, for sexual content and offensive language
  • In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak, for nudity and offensive language
  • King and King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, for homosexuality
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, for racism, homosexuality, sexual content, offensive language and unsuited to age group
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, for racism, offensive language and violence

Banning of books is goes against one of our most basic freedoms and cannot be condoned. Do your part by visiting the ALA and making use of their promotional information. And join the Blue Ribbon Campaign.

First Amendment Basics “Congress Shall Make No Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion, or Prohibiting the Free Exercise Thereof; or Abridging the Freedom of Speech, or of the Press; or the Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble, and To Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances.” — First Amendment

Visit D L Ennis.
Edited: PC

Powered by

About DL

  • http://www.dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    This is saddening and frustrating – and it makes me wonder, are parents afraid they havn’t done their jobs? Not that I’m the perfect parenting role model, but wouldn’t the ideal situation be to let kids read what they will, and then be available for open discussions afterwards?

    The same goes for any authority figures who think these books are offensive.

    Also, putting a book on a ‘banned’ list gives it even more power. These titles turn into forbidden fruit, which will be tasted at any costs.

    Of course, I hope the fruit IS tasted.

    The point is, though the content that is *questionable* in these books is a part of life, like it or not. If a book were just available to be read without much hoopla, then the questionable parts would be viewed in a more matter of fact way, and perhaps forgotten.

  • http://dlennis.org/Mysql/wordpress/ D L Ennis

    I couldn’t agree more, Mary…on all points!

    D L

  • http://www.dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    DL says:
    “I couldn’t agree more, Mary…on all points!”

    DL – *sigh* I don’t know why they don’t let me run the world. Oh, and I’d let you help. LOL.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Man, I remember when being “banned in Boston” or making the Pope’s list of banned books was manna to book sales!

  • http://www.dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    Dr Pat Says:

    “Man, I remember when being “banned in Boston” or making the Pope’s list of banned books was manna to book sales!”

    Yeah I can see how that would work.

    Sad though that some folks think they have to make decisions for others as far as what they can read.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    What kind of lunatics are banning some of these books? Of Mice and Men? In the Night Kitchen? Are these books being banned by some group of professional lunatics?

    Dave

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Don’t you remember, Dave — Steinbeck has one of the Okies drink from a young mother’s breast…

    Scandalous!

    And all those naked pots and pans in the Night Kitchen…

    Well! What kind of children’s book is that?

  • Nick Jones

    “Steinbeck has one of the Okies drink from a young mother’s breast…”

    That was The Grapes of Wrath. Yes, I am overly-literate.

    “Are these books being banned by some group of professional lunatics?”

    Those who think Tinky Winky and Bert and Ernie are gay. Those who think Harry Potter and other fantasy novels are teaching children witchcraft, by their particular definition of “Christianity” (The Chronicles of Narnia, anyone?). Those who think that a novel about a Wall Street serial killer is misogynistic (by my count, Patrick Bateman killed nearly as many men as women). Those who would ban Huckleberry Finn for using the word “nigger” (they can censor Mark Twain after they start doing the same to rap albums). Those who want their children to be ignorant about their bodies and their sexuality. The lists go on and on…

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    There — didn’t I tell you they were dirty books?

    Chaucer, Rabelais, BALzac…

    [DrPat channeling Eulalie McKechnie Shinn]

  • http://dlennis.org/Mysql/wordpress/ D L Ennis

    It’s ludicrous!

    Here is a link to the Top 100

    D L

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    DL,

    This was chosen as an Editor’s Pick this week by your humble Books Editor Pat Cummings. Go HERE to find out why and grab a nifty graphic button to put on your own site.

  • Parth

    i hate this book