Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Banned Book Week & My Opinion on Banning Books





Tomorrow starts banned book week at most public libraries. About a week ago, I was asked to participate in a most unusual way. I sell my earrings to our library’s gift shop. I display my earrings is on a handmade greeting card. Currently, I have 18 pair of earrings and a few of those are on greeting cards that have the “banned book” theme. 

I thought it would be great to share a picture. Here is one card with the quote and the earrings.  Our Library is featuring a guest author, Sarah Ockler and her recently banned book Twenty Boy Summer.  This title was removed from Republic, Missouri public school library because the content is “sensationalizing sexual promiscuity.” I have not read the book yet. I am #38 on the hold list at my public library. Whatever our personal views may or may not be, shouldn’t banning a book be a parent’s job, and not a school district?

I don’t know, I am just saying there have been a lot of books over the years that have been banned because someone did not agree with the content.  Later people realize that the book never should have been banned in the first place. I think that the individual should make that choice for themselves. Everyone should have that right but if a book is pulled from a library shelf, well then the individual is not being given the choice. I can think of a few books that I have read over the years that I might have been better off not reading but again that was my choice. 

I once heard Stephen King speak about this subject, when a teacher was complaining about reading yet another book report on Carrie and he said and I am paraphrasing here, "...who cares what they are reading as long as they are reading." I have a thirteen year old nephew that hates to read. I feel like if we can get that kid to read anything at all, well there is the success right there. 

 I list here a number of books that made it on the top "100 banned book" that I read. Some of the titles, I read as a kid. Honestly for the life of me, I can't figure out what the big deal was about the book that vaulted it onto that infamous list. Heck putting a book on a list like this just makes a lot of us want to read it all the more. I know that I was not particularly interested in reading Twenty Boy Summer but you can bet I will read it now! I just want to know why it was banned and form my own opinion.

My List 

Romeo and Juliet, Harry Potter, The Color Purple, of Mice and Men, Forever, The Bluest Eye, The Handmaid’s Tale, To Kill a Mockingbird, Beloved, James and the Giant Peach, A Light in the Attic, The House of the Spirits, Little Black Sambo, and The Pillars of the Earth. 

After reviewing this list it occurs to me that some of these titles and authors are among my favorites. I adore anything written by Alice Walker and honestly John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flats struck a chord with me, so much so, that I will love that book forever. 



"A book is the most effective weapon against intolerance and ignorance."
 Lyndon Baines Johnson - 37th President of the United States.

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