Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – Censored, Banned and Read. Here’s to The Librarians and Literature Teachers Everywhere.
September 25 through October 1 is National Banned Book Week. I like their slogan – Celebrating the Freedom to Read.
Books get banned or censored all the time for multiple reasons. These usually have passages with explicit language, sex, violence, religion, race and/or combinations of those. Others are banned because they address issues such as “bullying.”
My favorite “reason” listed for censorship is “it promotes or provides ideas to young people.” Excuse me? Isn’t that the point of reading?
I looked at several lists of banned books. Fifty-Shades of Gray was listed as banned for sex, violence and being “poorly written.” I agree. I think a new category should be “Just Stupid.”
Books like Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War that always makes a list, was said to be about “bullying.” Sidebar: Remember McC teachers and students of the late ‘70’s – this book was asked to be taken off of the library shelves for that reason plus the phrase of “…fondling the statue’s breast.” I reread The Chocolate War every so often and still think it is a good teaching tool.
In fact I reread several on the banned list. I just reread Slaughter House Five (also banned). Billy Pilgrim and PTSD long before it was recognized.
There are many lists of books that are banned. Just do a Google search of banned books to find multiple listings. I picked the list of banned books that shaped America. It lists 30 banned books that shaped America. I have read all but three on this list. How about you? Go read a book and celebrate your freedom to read.