Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nothing Is Worse than the Back of the Bus!


 "One man's vulgarity is another's lyric."
- John Marshall Harlan, Supreme Court justice, 1971


The 30th Anniversary of Banned Book week is here.  Since the launch of Banned Book Week  in 1982, more than 11,300 books have been challenged for reasons spanning language, to racism, to sexually explicit material. I chuckle each time I read the "reasons" why a book is considered inappropriate for our teens to read.  Please, I have teenagers -- very well adjusted, atypical teenagers.  They've heard and seen it all!  Don't believe me, go spend five minutes in any middle or high school cafeteria and I assure you what is being discussed there is ten time more inappropriate and/or controversial then anything, ANYTHING, you will read in these books.  And if that doesn't convince you, sign on as team Mom for one of the high school sports team.  The conversations you will overhear on the bus will make some of these books appear tame by comparison.  Trust me, I done it!

So, to quietly do my part, I have downloaded the ten most challenged books of 2011 to my e-reader.  I'm surprised, okay infuriated is more like it, to see two of my favorite books still on that list.  I am going to work my way through the eight I haven't read and celebrate the creative wisdom these authors possess.

The list is here for all you interested in seeing it.  Now I challenge you to go forth and read them!

16 comments:

  1. It really is hilarious that so many books are banned for being inappropriate when there's kids in high and school and middle school having sex, hiding teen pregnancies, and watching porn. I just read a story about a 14 yo who gave birth in a bathroom stall just yesterday...yeah, real life is a lot harsher and scarier than anything in a book.

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    1. I know, plus all that they watch on tv, or in the movies, or even the lyrics to the songs. There is noting in these books that can be worse than that. In fact -- these books will get them thinking about some very controversial topics -- that has got to be a good thing, right?

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  2. My favorite book is on there, To Kill a Mockingbird. I happily re-read it every few years! I wonder what that list will be for 2012. It's a shame there's a list like that at all. It's sad to think there are people out there who won't be reading these books because their school or library refuses to carry them. However, there is a silver lining to banning books: it usually means the challenged book is going to receive a lot of attention and people are going to want to read it even more!

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    1. To Kill a Mockingbird was on my son's reading list this past year. He is in 8th grade. All Quiet on the Western Front (another book that is challenged quite frequently) was on my daughters 9th grade reading list a couple of years back. They are classic... must reads!

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  3. Good for you! Sarah LaPolla had a great tweet just this week about banned books. She said that the books that end up banned, are the most honest ones, because people fear reality. I have to say I agree.

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    1. So true. I am reading one right now I would have never even picked up had it not been on that list!

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  4. I'm stunned to see the books on that list. I hate rules and anyone telling me what I can and can't do - and this sure falls under that category. Thanks for sticking up for what you believe in - a good reminder for all of us. :-D

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    1. I too am amazed by some of the books on that list, especially those that had such an impact on me as a teenager years ago. I can remember reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey my senior year and being blown away by it. To think, if some had their way, my kids would never get the privilege of reading it is just horrifyingly wrong!

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  5. I grew up on the Alice series! I'll have to reread those books this month. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Great series. I too haven't read it in years!

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  6. Eh? THE HUNGER GAMES is occultic/satanic? Never saw that. I've read 3 of those 10 books. I must say, I found a few parts of ttyl unnecessarily vulgar (but yeah, probably realistic). But that's not why I quit reading it--I just found it difficult to follow the style of book, written in IM format. I wasn't getting any sense of the characters--it read more like a play (name, colon, dialogue). The names weren't sinking in or meaning anything to me. Very creative format, however.

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  7. The Hunger Games made the 2010 list as well. Dind't stop people from absolutely loving it though!

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  8. Nice article, thanks for the information.

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