Friday, September 30, 2011

Challenge, Schmallenge: Favorite Banned Books

Fact: Tons of books have been banned or challenged.
Further fact: None of them should, something I talked about on Tuesday.

In preparing for today's post, I went through the ALA site to see what books have been challenged in the last seven years. The amount of stupid is staggering* and has me again asking, "WTF is wrong with you people?"


I won't soapbox today, Lurkdom. Or at least, I promise to try not to. Without further to do, I present...

The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling.
Why challenged/banned: One school district claimed it promoted the Wiccan religion**; many others gripe about warlocks and the occult.
What the challengers are missing out on: Harry Potter is a fantastic, well-thought out series where everything comes to life. Rowling created such a vivid world, it's like a master class by reading it. There's adventure and character growth. Oh hell, most of you read it. Praise it in the comments!

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Why challenged/banned: Suicide, oh no! They don't explain that suicide isn't a solution.
What challengers are missing out on: A teaching moment, for one. They could be doing that explaining for the reader and have an actual discussion. From a reading/writing perspective, people are missing out on the social commentary that Lowry's dystopian society illustrates, Jonas' character development, and some fantastic relationships.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Why challenged/banned: The occult, among other things, but basically the occult.
What challengers are missing out on: Besides a great story about family, spiritiuality, and science? A Wrinkle in Time is a feel good story where good triumphs evil. L'Engle has this way of covering difficult to digest topics in a way that's accessible for every generation. You will never get tired of her writing.

The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx
Why challenged/banned: Drugs, drugs, drugs, and more drugs.
What challengers are missing out on: A pretty amusing, cautionary tale on heroin addiction. The title does not lie: what's included in between the covers are the actual ramblings of the Motley Crue bassist during his drug-addled years. It's horrifying and entertaining at the same time.

It's Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris
Why challenged/banned: Don't tell anyone, but it covers S-E-X.
What challengers are missing out on: A simplistic introduction to puberty and all that entails. I don't understand why people think it's okay not to educate kids on this information. Middle School Alicia was freaked out when hair began to show up in places where hair shouldn't be. If she had read this book, she would've understood that she wasn't a freak***.

Is your favorite book banned? Share below!

For more information about Banned Books Week, please go to the Banned Books Week site.

* Challenging Merriam Webster's Dictionary because of oral sex is a prime example.
** It doesn't. At all. If you were to ask me what religion the majority of Hogwarts was I'd say some sect of Christianity, specifically Anglican. It's England, people.
*** Coincidentally, College Alicia read this book and felt MUCH BETTER.
_________ hit of the day: Oasis by Amanda Palmer (which contains a lot of material that would be banned in books!)


  1. The Giver is banned? Weird! We read that in my 6th grade lit class LOL All it is is "Brave New World- lite version." I'm guessing BNW is banned too?

    As far as Harry Potter is concerned, did the challengers not get the whole "Harry is Jesus" thing? I would consider it "Lord of the Rings- lite version." oh, allegories.

  2. I should also note, I am rather happy to see anything by Steinbeck or Hemingway on the list, because no one should have to or be able to read those pieces of crap.

    I'm kidding. Kind of...

    *hates most classic American authors and their boring expositional dribble*

  3. I didn't realize THE GIVER has been banned before. That's ridiculous, because it's an amazing book. HARRY POTTER definitely on my list. So are CATCHER IN THE RYE, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, and ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN. Censorship is crazy and scary. Yeah, there are books out there that I don't agree with. But that doesn't mean other people shouldn't be able to read them.

  4. The Giver is one of my favorite books EVER. I've read it multiple times, and every time I do I get something more out of it.

  5. Seriously, A Wrinkle in Time? As I'm reading these posts I'm discovering more and more books that I didn't know were on the list. Sad. Just sad.

  6. Great post- so funny. Your write up on each of these is mirroring my own thoughts. I actually thought AWIT was about (and in favor of) religion/spirituality in a lot of ways. You just can't make people stop being ignorant.

  7. My library had a display of the covers of banned books. I was surprised how many are required reading now in school. If they were average book on a library shelf, not required, I wonder if they'd still be banned.

  8. Great list. I like that you put the reasons they were challenged and then what the people are missing out. These are all wonderful books. The Children's Theater in Minneapolis is doing the play A Wrinkle in Time. I'm excited to see it.

  9. Haha - I think most of my favorite books are banned.

    *mentally scrolls through top ten*

    Yep - pretty much.

    Great list!

  10. Book banning, like witch burning, should be passe, but the narrow of mind and spirt will always be among us. I'd love to write a book that got banned. Sales soar.

    Let's see, Mark Twain, Nabakov, Salinger are among the banned book authors that I love.

    Hi from another campaigner!

  11. The Giver?! You've got to be kidding. I love that book.


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