Thursday, September 28, 2006

Banned Book Week 2006, September 23-30

Every morning I sit down and spend about a half an hour or so web-surfing to check out the daily news. I don’t know how I have missed this until now, Thursday morning, but today as I went through my normal channels I learned that it was Banned Books Week (BBW). This week marks the ALA’s (American Library Association) 25th anniversary celebration of our freedom to read. As American’s the inherent democratic freedom to read as we please is often taken for granted, and so BBW was created to remind us that at one time things were not always so.

I remember in the seventh grade when I read
Farenheit 451. At the time innocence still prevailed in my mind. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the concept of such censorship. It seemed to be extremely far fetched and to me at the tender age of 12 this was simply a made up story. Now, well, I know that censorship does exist in every arena of our life –I am by no means going to turn this into any type of political post, but as adults we learn that censorship is rampant and influences our lives in some manner every day.

In light of this, I think we all should take a moment to celebrate Banned Book Week. Think of how easy it is to walk into a bookstore and pick up a book containing extremely controversial topics. We are all very blessed for this granted right and so let’s take a moment to reflect. I’m including a
compilation of the “banned list” below, imagine your life as a reader if some of these titles had remained outlawed. According to the American Library Association, 42 of 100 books recognized by the Radcliffe Publishing Course as the best novels of the 20th century have been challenged or banned.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleAnnie
on My Mind by Nancy Garden
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite Day
No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland Flowers
For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Impressions edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
It's Okay if You Don't Love Me by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween Symbols by Edna Barth


Blogger Patrick McNamara said...

Just because a book has been banned doesn't make it good. I think there's a tendancy to overrate books that have been banned.

And sometimes the banning is simply because the book carries honestly inappropriate content such as R-rated material, excessive violence or hate literature, as would likely be the case for something like erotic romance at a public library where children could have access to the same sections as adults.

Thursday, September 28, 2006 at 3:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Knitty Yas said...

wasn't Rushdie's Satanic Verses banned? I can't remember.

Look how many classics are on that list. amazing isn't it?

Friday, September 29, 2006 at 3:07:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Julie Ramsey said...

The Giver. One of, if not THE BEST, YA book I have ever read. I love that book. I still remember the scenes and how it opened up my mind. Amazing. Ironic on the Fahrenheit 451, no?

Oh if you haven't read THE GIVER. You should. It's definitely a classic.

Friday, September 29, 2006 at 3:58:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No book should be banned, it's a human right to read the written.

Friday, September 29, 2006 at 5:30:00 PM EDT  

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