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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Get on the banned book week wagon

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jump on the "banned wagon" and dive into some classic and modern literature that has been challenged or banned in the United States during Banned Book Week, Sept. 24 through Oct. 1. Books have been challenged for a number of reasons, ranging from inappropriate social behaviors to alleged religious affronts. [Times Photo by Melonie Roberts] [Order this photo]
Hop aboard the Banned Book Wagon for Banned Book Week, taking place this year from Sept. 24 through Oct 1.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and highlighting the importance of the First Amendment. Banned Books Week emphasizes the benefits of open access to information and draws attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the nation.

Depending on which website one decides to access, the banned or challenged book list varies to some degree. Challenges to have these books removed from school classrooms and libraries across the nation come from parents, religious organizations, towns, and sometimes, in the past, the United States government.

Some books have been banned because of perceived religious affronts (the entire Harry Potter series for allegedly promoting witchcraft), socially inappropriate behaviors such as homosexuality, drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity or because the artwork appears to promote interracial marriage (The Rabbits' Wedding by Garth Williams.)

In his defense, Williams said his story was not written for adults, who "will not understand it, because it is only about a soft furry love and has no hidden message of hate."

While a good portion of the population will merely rolls its eyes and think this is much hullabaloo about nothing, there is a real danger that, once begun, such censorship will lead to continuing and pervasive infringements upon individual personal freedoms.

"There is always more interest in a title after someone has tried to ban it," said Gina Milburn, director of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library. "We will have a display and a list of banned books for our library patrons during Banned Book Week."

So round up a few rabble-reading friends, crack open the spines on some of these banned books and exercise that First Amendment guarantee.

The following is a list, although not complete, of books banned at one time or another in the United States.

* "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess

* "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle

* "Annie on My Mind" by Nancy Garden

* "As I Lay Dying" by William Faulkner

* "Blubber" by Judy Blume

* "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley

* "Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson

* "Canterbury Tales" by Chaucer

* "Captain Underpants" by Dav Pilky

* "Carrie" by Stephen King * "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller

* "Christine" by Stephen King

* "Confessions" by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

* "Cujo" by Stephen King

* "Curses, Hexes, and Spells" by Daniel Cohen

* "Daddy's Roommate" by Michael Willhoite

* "Day No Pigs Would Die" by Robert Peck

* "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller

* "Decameron" by Boccaccio

* "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck

* "Fallen Angels" by Walter Myers

* "Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure)" by John Cleland

* "Flowers For Algernon" by Daniel Keyes

* "Forever" by Judy Blume

* "Go Ask Alice" by anonymous

* "Grendel" by John Champlin Gardner

* "Halloween ABC" by Eve Merriam

* The entire Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

* "Have to Go" by Robert Munsch

* "Heather Has Two Mommies" by Leslea Newman

* "How to Eat Fried Worms" by Thomas Rockwell

* "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou

* "Impressions" edited by Jack Booth

* "In the Night Kitchen" by Maurice Sendak

* "It's Okay if You Don't Love Me" by Norma Klein

* "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl

* "Lady Chatterley's Lover" by D.H. Lawrence

* "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman

* "Like Water for Chocolate" by Laura Esquivel

* "Little Red Riding Hood" by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

* "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding

* "Love is One of the Choices" by Norma Klein

* "Lysistrata" by Aristophanes

* "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt

* "More Scary Stories in the Dark" by Alvin Schwartz

* "My Brother Sam Is Dead" by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

* "My House" by Nikki Giovanni

* "My Friend Flicka" by Mary O'Hara

* "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult

* "Night Chills" by Dean Koontz

* "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

* "On My Honor" by Marion Dane Bauer

* "One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

* "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey

* "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

* "Ordinary People" by Judith Guest

* "Our Bodies, Ourselves" by Boston Women's Health Collective

* "Prince of Tides" by Pat Conroy

* "Revolting Rhymes" by Roald Dahl

* "Scary Stories in the Dark" by Alvin Schwartz

* "Separate Peace" by John Knowles

* "Silas Marner" by George Eliot

* "Slaughterhouse-Five" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

* "Tarzan of the Apes" by Edgar Rice Burroughs

* "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie

* "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain

* "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain

* "The Bastard" by John Jakes

* "The Book of Bunny Suicides: Little Fluffy Rabbits Who Just Don't Want to Live Any More" by Andy Riley

* "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

* "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier

* "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker

* "The Devil's Alternative" by Frederick Forsyth

* "The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things" by Carolyn Cackler

* "The Figure in the Shadows" by John Bellairs

* "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck

* "The Great Gilly Hopkins" by Katherine Paterson

* "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

* "The Headless Cupid" by Zilpha Snyder

* "The Inferno" by Dante Alighieri

* "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan

* "The Learning Tree" by Gordon Parks

* "The Living Bible" by William C. Bower

* "The Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare

* "The Misfits" by James Howe

* "The New Teenage Body Book" by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman

* "The Pigman" by Paul Zindel

* "The Seduction of Peter S." by Lawrence Sanders

* "The Shining" by Stephen King

* The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer

* "The Witches" by Roald Dahl

* "The Witches of Worm" by Zilpha Snyder

* "Then Again, Maybe I Won't" by Judy Blume

* "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

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In my opinion this is pretentious hand-wringing by folks who evidently have nothing better to do than appear more knowledgeable than thou. There is obviously a near- infinite number of publication/books that are not allowed in public schools becasue theyare inappropriate. Why are these folks not all up in arms about all of them, too? It is evidently because THEY like the books in question. That is fine...everybody has different standards/likes/dislikes, etc. ..that is what makes us different. Also--standards do change over time. And it most cerrtainly is the duty of a duly elected local school board to decide what is and is not appropriate at any given time. And the people can voice their opinion, agree or disagree and vote people out if they want. That is the way it is SUPPOSED to work. It certainly is no grevious affront to liberty because someone decides a book you believe is good or "classic" is not appropriate. It merely means people have different opinions. Also..this group always seems to look down on those who might have as the basis of their beliefs religious views. But we are guaranteed that our religious views have every right to be the basis of our opinions as much as thinking something is good or bad because "oprah" thinks it's cool...or becaue a professor told us something was 'classic'. On top of all that...looking at society today, who has more credibility..those who say we have allowed too much to be 'acceptable' or those who think anything should go?..we can see how that is going with all we allow on TV, etc.

-- Posted by common-tater on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 9:04 PM

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