Saturday, May 25, 2013
Banned Book Week: Time to Get Your Read On
By OFW chief editor:
Published: October 18, 2012
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week (September 30 to October 6) and folks, you all like to challenge your books. Do you realize you’re only making the rest of the world go out and buy said books? Just saying.
Someone said the other day when I mentioned they should read a banned book this week, “Do they even ban books like they used to?” Well yes, Junior, they do. According to the
Banned Books Week site:
“Hundreds of books have been either removed or challenged in schools and libraries in the United States every year. According to the American Library Association (ALA), there were at least 326 in 2011. ALA estimates that 70 to 80 percent are never reported.”
So yeah, human beings are still giant assholes who want to control what the other guy reads. So get out there like the good writers you are, and read and recommend the controversial, the sinful, the violent and the brilliant.
Need some ideas? Well here are a few books that have been banned or challenged. I promise, you won’t be disappointed in a single one. I don’t think you’ll be horrified either, but you might be a weirdo who prefers only good, virtuous, sex free stories, and these aren't for you. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
A brilliant YA novel that depicts a young woman’s rape, recovery and confession. Speak has won several awards and despite its huge success, it was challenged because of the depiction of rape, which a few morons considered equal to soft porn. If you read this book and consider that scene pornographic, you should be in prison. Just saying.
Betrayed, P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
My daughter loves these books, and I have to say, grownups would enjoy them too. I did. However, some parents find the House of Night series very offensive. One school district wanted it banned because it causes kids to think even more about sexual things. Is that even possible? I think not.
Twenty Boy Summer, Sarah Ockler
Awesome book. Apparently I enjoy “soft-pornography” that “glorifies drinking, cursing, and premarital sex.” Seriously, that is not what this book is about. Read it.
Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
Challenged (and very recently too) because of its soft pornography and glorification of sexy, drinking, swearing and all things sinful. If you haven’t read this book and you are an adult, I’m sad for you. It’s brilliant, not pornographic.
Our Bodies, Ourselves, Boston Women’s Health Book Collective
Okay, I just included this one because it amuses me that such a book is considered offensive, and it never hurts to know a little more about our bodies. This book is (obvioiusly) about female anatomy and sexuality. One library actually said it promoted “homosexuality and perversion.” And what’s so wrong with that? Personally, I think they’re all just scared of the word “vagina.”
Want more recently banned books to read? Check out the
American Library Association’s 2010/2011 banned books list.
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