Libraries are cool for celebrating it
Happy Banned Books Week!
Never heard of it.
Me either, until I began Grad School.
Banned Books week is a week long event, which libraries all across the United States celebrate every year; a time for libraries to encourage people to enjoy a better sense of literary and intellectual freedom. Banned books become banned after they have first been Challenged. Look at this list and I think you will catch yourself saying, "why that book?" more than once. These are the top 100 challenged books of from 1990-2000.
Banned Books are anything that a school or library board have voted to ban from the premises of the library after challenges have been made and a vote has been reached to remove the books for reasons varying from sexual content, explicit language, adult circumstances. You name it.
Some intersting examples:
- The Savannah Morning News reported in November 1999 that a teacher at the Windsor Forest High School required seniors to obtain permission slips before they could read Hamlet, Macbeth, or King Lear. The teacher's school board had pulled the books from class reading lists, citing "adult language" and references to sex and violence.
- February 1, 1999-West Marion High School in Foxworth, Mississippi, the book, Fahenreit 451, was on the reading list for several of the English classes. However, after a parent complained to the superintendent about the use of the word "God damn" in the book, the book was removed from the required reading list. Interestingly, the complaint did not surface until the book report was due -- more than a month after the reading assignment was given.
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) by Mark Twain
The word "nigger," which appears many times in the novel, was the cause for the removal of this classic from an eighth-grade reading list. In the 1950s, the NAACP objected to the book's perceived racist tone. In 1984, the book was removed from a public high school reading list in Waukegan, Illinois, because a black alderman found the book's language offensive.
- Catcher in the Rye (1951)by J. D. Salinger
This is a perennial favorite of censors and has been banned in the U.S. and Australia. In 1960, a Tulsa, OK teacher was fired for putting the book on the 11th grade reading list. The teacher was reinstated, but the book was permanently removed from teaching programs. A Minnesota high school administration was attacked for allowing the book in the school library.
- Grapes of Wrath (1939)by John Steinbeck
Several months after the book's publication, a St. Louis, MO library ordered 3 copies to be burned for the vulgar words used by its characters. It was also banned in Kansas City and in Oklahoma.
- Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
In 1977, the Illinois Police Association urged librarians to remove the book, which portrays its characters as animals, and presents the police as pigs. The American Library Association reported similar complaints in 11 other states.
Fight for your rights to read good literature! Read a banned book today!
Some of my favorites on the banned books list: The Harry Potter series (Rowling), Blubber (Judy Blume), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain), and James and the Giant Peach (Roald Dahl).
American Library Association (ALA)