Monday Snippits: Banned Book Week.

It's Banned Book Week!!!

Here are some links to get you started.


The Banned Book Week website

 A list of authors who have been censored, banned or challenged, including Anne Frank, J.D. Salinger, Maya Angelou and William Shakespeare. 


Another list of censored books put together by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association)

This one includes A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, and The Giver by Lois Lowry, both personal favorites of mine AND Newbery Medal winners.


Recent stories of attempts to remove books:

Ellen Hopkins,  part 1 and part 2

Laurie Halse Anderson  (if you read none of these other links, please read this one!)


As you can tell, I don't believe in the banning of books in public libraries and public schools.  As a writer, and as a person who is facinated by different kinds of people, this is perhaps not surprising. 

What do YOU think?

7 comments:

  1. Loved reading the Ellen Hopkins stuff. That sort of imbecilic book banning--especially across the board banning for everyone--is soooo stupid.

    Can't remember who said it, but my mantra is: "Try parenting, not censorship!"

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  2. Just the thought that some of these people have been banned ... I mean, Anne Frank? Maya Angelou? It's almost impossible to believe. I saw Angelou speak last year. Her wisdom is so commendable, it was an honor to be in the audience.

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  3. Beth- I know. I chose those Ellen and Laurie because they explain in depth WHY they wrote the books they wrote and what the impact has been for some of the kids who read them. (And I love your mantra!)

    Joanne- I would love to hear Maya Angelou speak. I think some people do what the reporter in Ellen's story did: scan the book and count the number of words that they object to. But book were never meant to be read like that.

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  4. I don’t understand the mentality of banning the authors and books on these lists. It seems like ignorant knee jerk reactions. I also agree that the majority of those pushing for these books to be banned have not really read them. I could understand putting certain types of books on restricted list in middle school and high school libraries, such as the latter Laurel K Hamilton, Anita Blake series. These works are NC-17 and the sexuality provides little to the plot (i.e. they are gratuitous) and no instructional benefit to teens. However, I would never want to see these kinds of works banned by a public library.

    As a parent with a child that learned to read and read well at an early age I can say we did keep an eye out on what she was reading at say 8 or 9 but once she was in her teens I trusted her judgment. I can’t remember telling her that she could not read any book when she was say 15. In fact I was thrilled when she read a lot of the authors/works that have found their way onto the banned lists

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  5. Marty- I agree with you. Funnily enough, most book challenges are not directed towards books like the Anita Blake series, or the adult section of the library in general. Most if not all of these challenges are to school libraries, to the YA and children's department of the public library, and to school reading lists.

    I find it hilarious and rather sad that some people want to put ratings and warnings on YA books, when all the teenager has to do is wander three aisles down for the latest steamy romance or Stephan King. In my opinion, if you don't know WHAT your kids are reading, censoring and labeling isn't going to help you much.

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  6. I remember a long, long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away when I was a senior in high school I had an English elective left for my last semester. One of my favorite teachers was teaching a course on mystery and science fiction. It was a contract graded course which meant you did so much work and got a C did more and got B and if you did a lot you got an A. I chose the A route. To get a C you had to read 5 specific books and write one page reports. To get an A you had to read 20 and do a bunch of other stuff. You had to read the required 5 books then you could choose the other 15, you just had to get her approval.

    At the time I didn’t understand why she did it this way, but after the class I asked and she said that this way she only has a five book required list and the other books were between the student and, if they were interested, the parents. She pointed out that some parents would not have liked it if, for example, one of my books, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, had been made mandatory. I still didn’t really get the point, especially since I had checked almost all of my books out of the school library, which by the way had a lot of the books that are these banned lists.

    Looking back on it I realize that she was being very creative in getting around possible objections to her reading list. I never heard of anyone who complained, but she had been teaching a long time by then and maybe she had had bad experiences before

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  7. Marty- That's actually a really good idea. But it's sad that she had to come up with it.

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