Banned Book Week and Final Row80

This post is a twofer, my continued exploits with banned books and the final Row80 update.

Banned Book Week

This week has led to wonderful dinner time conversation with the family.  My sweet hubby hasn’t agreed with all of it, he’s much more conservative than I am 🙂  Be thankful you don’t have to listen to the ranting around the news.  Anyway, my kids have been really interested in Banned Book Week and why books would be banned.  They understand that some books are inappropriate and they aren’t allowed to read them, and that some books are for older, more mature readers.  Those they will be able to read in time.  So, I went through the list of banned books I knew was currently in their bookcase and explained why they were banned.  The look of utter confusion was priceless.  From school they have learned not everyone likes Harry Potter and some of their friends are not allowed to read it because of the magic/wizards in the book.  But some of the reasons books are banned are stupid.  Yes, I used the S-word.  Excerpts taken from Frequently Challenged Website click link for more.

Here are a few:  (these are not on their bookshelf, but mine!)

  • The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence    WHAT! They didn’t read the same book I read!
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism  Context is an important element to reading!
  • Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
    Reason: drugs  I read this in high school…and never did drugs.  Probably because I read that book!


Here’s a few from BuzzFeedExcerpts taken from BuzzFeed, click on site for more.  (These are on the lids shelf)

  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
    Everyone’s favorite childhood book was banned from a public library in Colorado because it was considered “sexist.” It was also challenged by several schools because it “criminalized the foresting agency.”  Here’s your sign…

  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

    Talking animals are somehow considered an “insult to god,” resulting in this book’s banning throughout random parts of the United States. Several institutions in Turkey and the UK have also banned the book, claiming that the character of Piglet is offensive to Muslims. Other institutions claim that the book revolves around Nazism.  I find this reason offensive and stupid.

  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

     The book was primarily banned in most southern states immediately following its publication, and it has since been challenged due to the fact that it promotes “witchcraft and supernatural events.”  Hold on, let me go put on my wolf footed PJs.

You get the idea.  Yesterday, I took my oldest tween to the library.  She wanted a banned book. We looked around the children’s section, nothing interested her.  She is trying to grow up on me. We walked across the hall to the YA section, otherwise known as the forbidden book zone. SO….using our values and her age and maturity level as a guide  we agreed on The Giver.  I have never read it, but plan on it.  This is her first venture into dystopian literature, and honestly- I don’t think she will like it.  On the way out, I saw a copy of Pride and Prejudice.  I pointed it out and she jumped at the chance.  Why?  Because it was in the forbidden book zone.  So that’s our daily dose of Banned Book Week.


I actually posted my last update on Sunday.  I do have a new update.

Reading: I just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars.  I hope his agent convinced him to buy stock in Kleenex before he published this book.  I cried like a baby.  It was outside of what I normally read.   YA romance.  It was sad, but it was a happy sad!  I loved it.  It is the exact opposite of the other book I am reading, The Book Thief.  It is depressingly, sad.  It’s also taking forever to read.

Revisions:  I sat down and edited the first 25 pages of Dead in the Water.  I didn’t make it to the first 100 pages, but it’s a start.  To be honest it is going much faster than I thought it would.

So there you go.  I will be back for the next round of Row80.  How are your goals going?


Banned Book Week

I don’t know if I need permission to use that photo?!

I’ve really enjoyed reading posts related to banned books.  Heck, I’ve enjoyed reading quite a few of the books on the various lists. I enjoyed the way Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, and Toni Morrison weave a story through beautiful words. I’ve enjoyed the imagination of Shel Silverstein and Maurice Sendak.  I have dreamed of living in the worlds created by J.K Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkein. I can’t imagine not reading those books and experiencing those stories.

Some times I understand why people don’t find a book appropriate, that’s fine you don’t have to read it.  There are quite a few of those books that I will not read.  That’s my right.  And that is at the heart of banned book week.  We have the right to choose what we want to and don’t want to read.  It’s called the First Amendment (Free speech).

There’s a flip side to Banned Books.  The lists are full of edgy books.  Books that may be socially provocative with language, sexually explicit, violence, or alternative life choices. Yet, on none of those lists have I seen the Bible.  Public schools around the country have tried, and in some instances succeeded, in banning Bibles in school.  I’m not talking about leading the class in reading the Bible, I’m talking about students reading their Bible during free reading time. Hmmm.

The Bible may not be provocative and life changing like some of the other books…wait yes it is.  It must be or why would it be banned in 52 countries.  That’s one dangerous book!

When you sit down and read your favorite banned book, don’t forget to allow others that same choice.




Banned Book Week

Reading through blogs Sunday, Winter Bayne, brought it to my attention that it was Banned Book Week.

Banned books have always been an irritant to me.  It brings up images of Hitler and his piles of burning books.  It seems so unAmerican.  Yet, we have a long and glorious history of banning books.  Why?  I have a few ideas, but I like to keep that to myself 🙂  This is a writing blog and let’s stay on track.  I’ve looked over a few lists this morning, of banned books, and howled in laughter.  Some are just funny, others are just too stupid for words.  Here’s a link to Banned Book Week with a list of current challenged books.  If your tastes are more literary, here’s a list of banned classics.  I’ve read 11 of those.  I started reading at least 6 more on the list, but they didn’t interest me enough to finish reading them.

I taught for 6 years and I tried everything to get them to read.  I would have been happy if they read the Anarchists Handbook.  It was sad, how much they hated to read.  If bringing in a stack of banned books would have gotten them to read, I would have done it.  Oh, I taught history!

A parents view of banned books:

I have two tween girls.  One reads anything and everything she gets her hands on.  The other is a bit pickier. As you may know, we are Baptists and the kids go to a Baptist school.  The school library is small and limited.  I knew that and accepted it.  The public library is 5 minutes away and we make weekly trips.  As a parent I am careful of what my children read.  It’s my job.  I don’t want them reading things that they are not mature enough to understand or has lots of foul language.  As they grow, I release my grip a little on what’s aloud. They understand this and work with in the limits.  That’s called parenting.  Banned Books takes that responsibility out of the hands of parents and puts it in the hands of the local/state government.  Basically, telling us we aren’t smart enough to know if it’s a book worth reading.  Personal responsibility. (Rant over)

Now, I let my kids read Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and various other fantasy series.  Will I let them read Lolita?  Heck no.  They aren’t old enough.  I’m not sure I’m old enough.  But you get the point.  Here’s a list of banned children’s books.  Seriously, Shel Silverstein!?I love Shel.

My banned book of the week is : To Kill A Mockingbird.  I started reading it last week and got distracted. I’ve read it two times already.  Looking at some of the lists of banned books, my kids have read quite a few of them as well.

What banned book will you read?