Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Banned Books Week 2012

October 1st, 2012 by Debbie's World of Books

Banned Books Week

September 30 to October 6, 2012 is Banned Books Week and a time to celebrate our freedom to read.

It always amazes me how people feel like they have the right to tell others what they can and can’t read or what is amoral, lewd, devil worshipping, etc. I’ve been going through some lists of books that have been banned or challenged and was sad to see how many of them were books that I enjoyed and that truly left a mark on me.  Here are some of them and the reasons they were banned or challenged but I really think you should all check them out.  I got the lists from the American Libraries Association website.

Staying Fat for Sara Byrnes by Chris Crutcher

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher

I read this one for a class I took on young adult materials and it was so far from anything I would have normally read but I was sucked in.  There are a lot of tough issues covered in the book and some will sicken you over the idea that people can be so cruel but this is real life and we shouldn’t hide from it just because it’s not pretty.

The book deals with topics of abortion, sexuality, and the power of religion. A Belleville, Wis. high school parent complained that the book was “pornography” and its language was “pervasively vulgar.”

Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of  a Young Girl by Anne Frank

This book will make you cry and cringe over this period in our history but it’s not something you can ignore.

There have been complaints that the book includes sexual material and homosexual themes.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This is one of my favorite series and is it violent?  Yes but do I think it will “numb” teenagers against violence? No.  I think people underestimate teens these days and do them a disservice over what they can handle and what they can discern between real life and media.

Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence. (Source-taken from the Banned Books Week website.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

I find the reason this book has been challenged and removed from some shelves to be ridiculous.  Anyone who has read it realizes that it’s not “soft porn” but rather deals with the emotions of the death of a good friend/boyfriend and a brother.

“Challenged in the Republic, Mo. schools (2010) because it is “soft-pornography” and “glorifies drinking, cursing, and premarital sex.”  (Source–Quote taken from ALA banned books resource page)

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Criticize it all you want but Twilight is probably the series that revitalized my interest in young adult books.  Does it have the greatest writing?  No.  What makes me love this series so much is that it was addictive and it brought so many people into (or back into) the world of reading.

Some librarians say the content is too sexual and goes against religious beliefs. I found this quote from a School Library Journal particularly funny, “We wanted to make sure they realize it’s fictitious and ensure they don’t have a wrong grasp on reality,” says Helen Schutz, head librarian of Santa Sabina College at Strathfield in Sydney, Australia, to The Daily Telegraph.” (Source-quote taken from ‘Twilight’ Catches Heat in Time for Banned Books Week)  They really think teens would have a hard time grasping what is reality and what isn’t?  Really?!

These are just a few of the books that have been banned, challenged and removed from shelves.  Everyone needs to be aware of the dangers of trying to ban books based on one group’s belief that something is too violent, inappropriate, too sexual, etc and we need to stand up for our freedom to read.

Posted in Books

One Response

  1. Bibliotropic

    Oftentimes, the people who try to get books banned actually haven’t read them, or else read them and completely miss the point. Anne Frank’s diary containing homosexual themes? Well, sure, if you count the one brief mention of her wondering what another girl’s breasts feel like. And for that to be the focus of the banning means that people totally missed the point.

    Funny enough, many of the people behind attempted bannings do so on religious grounds. Ignoring, of course, that half the things they try to ban books for exist in plain sight right in their own holy books. Irony’s kind of ironic that way.

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