Banned Books Week, Part 2

The Giver – banned for dark and complex themes that are beyond the intended age group.

One of the most surprising thing about banned books is just how many books have been challenged. My son’s English teacher wanted to make certain that her students and the parents realized this. She had each student pick a banned book to read and then asked the parents to sign a permission slip. Jared chose Fahrenheit 451. When I signed the permission slip, I commented on it. “Almost every book you’ve had them read has been banned.” She contacted me because she was surprised. No other parent had ever known this. The photos used in this post were taken at my local book store. This is part of their display of banned books.

Fahrenheit 451 – banned for portraying a society that burns books, including the Bible.

Before it was my favorite banned book, The Lorax has my favorite Dr. Seuss book. “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.”

The Lorax – banned for being “stupid” and anti-logging and anti-forestry.

I have to admit that I wonder – if you ban Charlotte’s Web because the animals can talk, do you also ban Click, Clack, Moo because they can write and type?

Charlotte’s Web – banned because talking animals goes against nature and puts them on the same level as humans.

My son was given this banned series by his godmother. Before buying him the books, she asked “Will you read about a girl?” He didn’t even hestitate. “As long as she’s interesting.” He also explained to me that it didn’t matter if the character was a boy or girl. Boring books were not to be read. So why do we think that boys will only read about boys? I suspect it is 90% an adult problem and 10% a young reader problem.

The Hunger Games – banned for anti-family themes, religious viewpoints, insensitivity, offensive language and violence.

We read the entire series as a family. I myself read every single book. In 6 weeks. Yes, I’m that reader. When people tell me that they don’t approve of the magic, I give them “the look.” “Three of my ancesstress were convicted in Salem.” It is never the response they expect.

Harry Potter – banned for containing witchcraft, encouraging bad behavior, and general spookiness.

And, let me repeat – if you don’t want your child to read a specific book, that is between you and your child. But do not make it an issue for other people’s children. You may be removing the book that, for some reason, I young reader truly needs.