My Books. My Life.

"Let us read and let us dance – two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." ~Voltaire~

Banned Books Week October 3, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 3:08 pm

We are about halfway through the ALA's Banned Books Week.  I would have posted about this earlier, but life got in the way.  I love Banned Books Week.  I think it is a shame that anyone would think to ban a book.  I don't remember books being banned when I was growing up.  Not even within my own home.  There were tv shows and movies that were forbidden by my mom (though my dad used to let us watch them) but never books.  I know it is a bigger problem in rural, southern, conservative, and highly religious areas.  I grew up next to one of the most liberal cities in the country, so maybe that was why censorship was never an issue for me.  I do know that the Catholic Church keeps a list of books that we shouldn't be reading (Harry Potter, The Davinci Code), but I only know a few people who follow those reccomendations.  I'm really glad that Harry Potter came along, not just because it is an amazing series and is inspiring kids to read, but because it highlighted the problem of censorship for a lot of people.

The ALA's list of the 100 most challenged books from 1990-2000 can be found here.  My favorites are:

  • Harry Potter (of course)
  • Catcher in the Rye
  • The Giver
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Slaughter-House Five
  • Lord of the Flies

To celebrate BBW, the ACS hosts an event at the law school where professors read to us from their favorite banned books.  In addition to classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies, this year we got a treat.  One professor chose to share the most banned book of 2006 with us: And Tango Makes Three.  It is a true story about two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo who raise a baby penguin and is banned for obvious reasons.  He sat on the desk and read it to us like we were kids (showing us the pictures and everything).

And Tango Makes Three

Peter Parnell

So, as you can see, I think banning books is wrong.  But we also have to remember that we need to keep reading.  I'll leave you with a famous quote from Ray Bradbury:
“You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

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