Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Banned Book Week!

(Courtesy of the Lisa Simpson Book Club Tumblr)

It's that time again...time to stand up against censorship and read all the books "the man" is telling you not to! ;) I just don't get the energy people put into this whole "banning" thing. If you don't want your kid to read a book, that's fine, I'm not judging anyone's morals or anything here. But don't make it a huge issue including the whole class or school or district. What's the point? It just embarrasses the child and causes undue hardship on the schools, when they already have enough problems. And that's my little soapbox speech. Let's get on to some fun stuff, okay?

How about this cute little "I'm Banned" Button by BustMyButton? Hehe...

I was checking out the Banned & Challenged Classics list on ALA and turns out I've read the top 4 in the last few years for my Classic a Month. Go me! :) The Great Gatsby was challenged for "language & sexual references". Psshh...challenge it for not being that great instead lol. And okay, I can see why The Catcher in the Rye is challenged so much...profanity, lots of sexual talk, obscene, blah blah blah. But I honestly still think it's an important book, for the right group. I was actually a little surprised at first to see The Grapes of Wrath on the list but then I read that it was challenged in a lot of Southern states and that makes more sense, on the grounds that the minister is "corrupt" and they say "God Damn". And I just finished The Handmaid's Tale for my September classic, which is continuously challenged for being religiously immoral and sexually explicit, and I'll be reviewing it in full later this week. (Banned Bookmark by MJ*LaFlaca on Flickr)

Looking at the 2012 Banned Book List, I was pretty surprised that I'd only read two. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group.  I understand why parents are afraid of this book, but that's not a good enough reason to ban it. Teenagers have pain and misery thrust into their lives all the time and they need to know that they aren't alone. This wasn't a book about suicide to me. It was a book about asking for help, even after it's too late.

Looking for Alaska by John Green: Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. I don't understand this "unsuited for age group" thing. Who do they think these are suited for? Do the people challenging these books not remember their teenage life? Kids are going to read/listen to/talk about/do "explicit things" no matter what.

And let's end this with a fun little comic by Grant Snider, which reminds us that sometimes the best books are the ones people are telling us not to read.


  1. Great blog post. It always amazes me the books that get banned/complained about. I think even To Kill A Mockinbird was banned in a few places when it came out. Whaaaa?? It blows my mind that they still do ban books, I always think of it as something consigned to history, but I guses not :(
    Looking for Alaska? Really??
    Cute comic :)

    1. Thank you :)
      TKAM is *still* getting banned in schools! It's crazy. I don't understand it either.