Pages Navigation Menu

Book Reviews, Author Features, Recipes & More...

#BannedBookWeek Celebrating the Freedom to Read – #BlogHop

Banned Book Hop – Celebrating 30 years of protecting your right to read!

banned books 2013 (2)[1][1]This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Banned Books Week. Everyone needs to protect their FREADOM to read! I am taking place, again, in the annual bloghop hosted by BOOKHOUNDS & I AM A READER NOT A WRITER

Stephen King was banned in my house in 4th grade by my mother. I read The Stand and ended up freaking out on my parents every time I sneezed, they sneezed etc… to the point I refused to go to school. Was this true censorship? It felt like it at  the time, but now I realize it was my parents need to try to protect me, a parent who is in charge. But when you let other people do your parenting, allowing them to walk the dangerous and narrow tightrope, you let someone else’s values, morals and ethics into the room. Isn’t it your job to do this? Yep, it is yours and yours alone! So join me today!

fade-line-divider

Four of Stephen King’s books are on the top 100 Most Challenged Books:

King-Banned-Books-lg#49 Cujo
#81 Carrie
#82 The Dead Zone
#95 Christine

 

fade-line-divider

As a parent I want to protect my children, but when it comes to books, I want them to read whatever they want to. I always make myself available for them to talk to me, ask questions and give me their own argument on why they should be allowed too read something. In the end, the only time I block them from reading is because the content was not appropriate with their age. My kids are truly to smart for their own good. But I struggle all the time with if I have gone to far!

Fahrenheit 451Language is everything. Instead of “Banned” they are calling them “Challenged Books. Softening the language does not change the reality of what these ANTI-FREADOM folks are up too. They want the material removed and taken out. No one is going to literally do a Fahrenheit 451 on a pile of books, but forcing their hand with strong arm tactics and money? Oh yes!

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.

fade-line-divider

This last century the top ten most frequently challenged and banned books:

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  6. Ulysses by James Joyce
  7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  9. 1984 by George Orwell
  10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

How can you get involved? 

banned-books-week

Read a banned book! YouTube yourself for the Virtual Read-Out talking about or reading from your favorite banned/challenged book. Join the twitter party and this week use the hashtag #bannedbooksweek (additional tags: #bannedbookparty -Monday 10 a.m. to noon-Wed 10 a.m. to noon EST), and #heroes. Follow @OIF@KidsRight2Read, @freadom, @FTRF – re-tweet, find events and join in other conversations. Talk about it! Without having conversations, things won’t happen. We never would have a challenged list, we would still have book burning and banning.

Below is just one of the banned/challenged books lists issued from the ALA I have pinned to one of my Pinterest boards (I am still icing my clicking finger πŸ™‚ ). As I researched, read about and wrote this post I went down a rabbit hole, went looking for Waldo and even studied for my Owls.. in other words, I went on an adventure! Isn’t this what reading is all about. Join me today on the blog hop an see what everyone else is sharing and giving away on their blog! (see below), till then read one of the most widely distributed essays from my favorite author, the only one my parents banned from the house for a couple years.

fade-line-divider

What banned books are on your shelf?
Have you ever experienced censorship involving banned/challenged books?

Hop participants are below in the LINKY. Each blog has a giveaway. Hop is open all week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Adventure in Censorship is Stranger Than Fiction

Stephen King Quote - Censorship Published as a Guest Column in the March 20, 1992 issue of The Bangor Daily NewsFound & reposted from StephenKing.com

“When I came into my office last Thursday afternoon, my desk was covered with those little pink message slips that are the prime mode of communication around my place. Maine Public Broadcasting had called, also Channel 2, the Associated Press, and even the Boston Globe. It seems the book-banners had been at it again, this time in Florida. They had pulled two of my books, “The Dead Zone” and “The Tommyknockers,” from the middle-school library shelves and were considering making them limited-access items in the high school library. What that means is that you can take the book out if you bring a note from your mom or your dad saying it’s OK.

My news-media callers all wanted the same thing — a comment. Since this was not the first time one or more of my books had been banned in a public school (nor the 15th), I simply gathered the pink slips up, tossed them in the wastebasket, and went about my day’s work. The only thought that crossed my mind was one strongly tinged with gratitude: There are places in the world where the powers that be ban the author as well as the author’s works when the subject matter or mode of expression displeases said powers. Look at Salman Rushdie, now living under a death sentence, or Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who spent eight years in a prison camp for calling Josef Stalin “the boss” and had to run for the west to avoid another stay after he won the Nobel Prize for “The Gulag Archipelago.”

When the news stories about my latest adventure in censorship came out, however, I didn’t like the way that “the author could not be reached for comment” stuff looked. To me, that line has always called up images of swindlers too cowardly to face up to what they’ve done. In this case I haven’t done anything but my job, and I know it’s all too possible to make a career out of defending one’s fiction — for a while in the mid-1980s, Judy Blume almost did make a career out of it — but I still didn’t like the way it felt.

So, just for the record, here is what I’d say if I still took time out from doing my work to defend it.

First, to the kids: There are people in your home town who have taken certain books off the shelves of your school library. Do not argue with them; do not protest; do not organize or attend rallies to have the books put back on their shelves. Don’t waste your time or your energy. Instead, hustle down to your public library, where these frightened people’s reach must fall short in a democracy, or to your local bookstore, and get a copy of what has been banned. Read it carefully and discover what it is your elders don’t want you to know. In many cases you’ll finish the banned book in question wondering what all the fuss was about. In others, however, you will find vital information about the human condition. It doesn’t hurt to remember that John Steinbeck, J.D. Salinger, and even Mark Twain have been banned in this country’s public schools over the last 20 years.

Second, to the parents in these towns: There are people out there who are deciding what your kids can read, and they don’t care what you think because they are positive their ideas of what’s proper and what’s not are better, clearer than your own. Do you believe they are? Think carefully before you decide to accord the book-banners this right of cancellation, and remember that they don’t believe in democracy but rather in a kind of intellectual autocracy. If they are left to their own devices, a great deal of good literature may soon disappear from the shelves of school libraries simply because good books — books that make us think and feel — always generate controversy.

If you are not careful and diligent about defending the right of your children to read, there won’t be much left, especially at the junior-high level where kids really begin to develop a lively life of the mind, but books about heroic boys who come off the bench to hit home runs in the bottom of the ninth and shy girls with good personalities who finally get that big prom date with the boy of their dreams. Is this what you want for your kids, keeping in mind that controversy and surprise — sometimes even shock — are often the whetstone on which young minds are sharpened?

Third, to the other interested citizens of these towns: Please remember that book-banning is censorship, and that censorship in a free society is always a serious matter — even when it happens in a junior high, it is serious. A proposal to ban a book should always be given the gravest consideration. Book-banners, after all, insist that the entire community should see things their way, and only their way. When a book is banned, a whole set of thoughts is locked behind the assertion that there is only one valid set of values, one valid set of beliefs, one valid perception of the world. It’s a scary idea, especially in a society which has been built on the ideas of free choice and free thought.

Do I think that all books and all ideas should be allowed in school libraries? I do not. Schools are, after all, a “managed” marketplace. Books like “Fanny Hill” and Brett Easton Ellis’ gruesome “American Psycho” have a right to be read by people who want to read them, but they don’t belong in the libraries of tax-supported American middle schools. Do I think that I have an obligation to fly down to Florida and argue that my books, which are a long way from either “Fanny Hill” or “American Psycho,” be replaced on the shelves from which they have been taken? No. My job is writing stories, and if I spent all my time defending the ones I’ve written already, I’d have no time to write new ones.

Do I believe a defense should be mounted? Yes. If there’s one American belief I hold above all others, it’s that those who would set themselves up in judgment on matters of what is “right” and what is “best” should be given no rest; that they should have to defend their behavior most stringently. No book, record, or film should be banned without a full airing of the issues. As a nation, we’ve been through too many fights to preserve our rights of free thought to let them go just because some prude with a highlighter doesn’t approve of them.”

 


 

62 Comments

  1. Course I have banned books on my shelf, I’m not a prudish little old lady after all and if you come over I’ll even show them to you. I must say I love my Marmalade when I was a kid I was Judy Blume obsessed she never said no to me reading them in fact got me my own library card and had me request them.

  2. The man or woman wielding the pen the decides what you should and should not read may be hiding a great secret about themselves that they don’t want you to see. Whether that secret is just that they are a prude or perhaps as in the case of those wishing to ban Harry Potter that they totally lack an imagination remains to be seen. But, if a school makes a decision to remove a book from it’s shelves it’s usually available elsewhere. For your parent to remove a book from your shelves is usually a sign that they think it’s not right for your age group, for a stranger to want to remove a book from your shelves is the grossest form of censorship there is since they have no idea of your tastes, sensibilities or imagination.
    Some years ago I can imagine certain US States running scared of To Kill a Mochingbird merely because it highlighted their lack of humanity. Nowdays we know the world is round, was created by the Big Bang and that we’re descended from the apes. Why hide that knowledge, and why prevent a child’s imagination for growing by suggesting that to read of magic is to be involved in witchcraft? Our minds grow from all kinds of reading and it’s minds that grow that create and invent things we might no think possible now. Keep our minds open, leave censorship to those who judge by age not by content. READ!
    XXX Huge Hugs XXX

  3. ps. Can I have my bacon a little crisp and delivered between two slices of fresh bread sometime soon. I’m peckish. xx

  4. Living in a country where there is still a censor for cinema or books, I can sadly say the era of banning or judging content is not over.

  5. Oh, I have many – there are lots of classics on my shelves and many of them have been banned one time or another. Flowers for Algernon, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Clockwork Orange, The Master and Margarita are the ones I’ve enjoyed a lot. I haven’t experienced censorship personally (meaning I haven’t had to hunt down a banned book to secretly read it), but I guess the whole topic of book banning and censorship touches each and every one of us.

  6. Looking for alaska, the catcher in the rye, the master and margarita… so many

  7. I also have a number: all the Harry Potter, three of those four Stephen King books, The Master and Margarita… I’m sure the list will go on. And censorship? Sort of. I had bought a historical romance for a friend of mine for her birthday and my mom found it and burned it. She also burned “The Happy Hooker” once she realized what it was about. Strangely enough, she had NO PROBLEM with “Lonesome Dove” – I guess lots of sex scenes are okay if it’s a Western? *shakes head*

  8. The Hunger Games trilogy, Harry Potter books, Looking for Alska…. thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win more challenged/banned books =]

  9. I have all the Harry Potters, Animal Farm, the Hunger Games..and that’s all I can think of right now haha but I know there are more. Thanks for the giveawat!

  10. *giveaway

  11. I would have to say that I have had over 95% of the “Banned” books listed on my shelf at one time or another and the just happen to be some of my all time favorite books. The reason they are usually banned? Because they make people THINK. Thinking for oneself in a light different than the rest of society or should I say “influential” society is not a good thing. It leads to moral decay. You know what I think of that? BullSh*t. I do not want to be a part of the herd. I have free will, I am a free thinker, and I do believe that if more people thought for themselves instead of what “Society” wants them to think, this world would be a heck of a lot better than it is now! kbinmichATyahooDOTcom

  12. I have Looking for Alaska by John Green and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher πŸ™‚
    btw, thanks for this awesome giveaway!

  13. Thanks for participating

  14. I loved your Stephen King story! I have many banned books on my “shelf” and have been known to read a book solely because it has been banned.

  15. I have a lot on the banned book list that I have read. My favorite was Brave New World. I have no idea why but it just caught my eye. I could read that one all the time. I cant do Stephen King because I cant do his genre. But I know so many people who love him. Even though I cant read it, he is one bad ass author.

  16. I recently ordered Tampa and I’m pretty sure it’s banned πŸ˜€

  17. I have all Harry Potter’s books. The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, The Giver, Flowers in the Attic.

  18. I’ve the HP books (of course), Master and Margarita, 1984, Candide, The Hunger Games, etc. etc.

  19. I have The Hunger Games series, 1984, The Great Gatsby, and To Kill a Mockingbird. I absolutely love all of these books! I think censorship should be a personal decision or a parent’s decision for their children.

  20. I’ve got so many – Ender’s Game, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, To Kill a Mockingbird…the list goes on! Never had a problem, luckily. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. The Giver is on my shelf and it’s one of my favorite books! Thanks for this amazing giveaway – I would love to win!

  22. definitely have banned books on my read and TBR pile πŸ™‚ Never ran across a censorship situation though. Thanks for sharing!

  23. First of all, I’m only commenting because there will be *no* bacon involved.

    Second, I keep track on my blog of all the five star book reviews we’ve posted. I’ve noticed that a lot of them are books form the banned list. Books that are banned for no good reason whatsoever. I look at the books on the list and I can’t imagine not reading some of them. Anne Frank gets banned because a young girl’s life is too serious to read about – but she lived it. Books on growing up or a human body banned because the stuff we’re learning about in health class is somehow difficult for a kid to know about. Banned because you’re *gasp* gay – Hello! And Tango Makes Three is a TRUE STORY! Nobody kicked the damn penguin out of the zoo.

    It pains me that as a society, we have two choices. Shrivel up and sit in a corner, or grow a set and learn something… end up somewhere where we’re given the opportunity to think for ourselves and formulate opinions. And we chose to shrivel up in a corner. That we take totally innocent things and twist them until there’s nothing left. And that we’re okay with this.

  24. The Giver, Looking for Alaska and The Perks of being a wallflower.

  25. I have The Hunger Games trilogy and Tipping the Velvet in my shelf.

  26. There are so many banned/challenged books on my lists, I don’t know where to start. I think the one that drives me the most insane is the (continued) challenging of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I have, indeed, written editorials, blog posts, and letters to schools about attempts to ban this book from school libraries and/or provide only expurgated copies of it to students, simply because of the use of certain words (“nigger” and “injun,” primarily). We shouldn’t be censoring these things, we should be explaining them! Anyone who thinks Mark Twain was racist for including those words needs to go back to school anyway. Those of us who know better owe explanations to the younger ones – why these words? What was Twain attempting to do? How did he advance race-relations conversations in America and Europe (because he certainly did)? It just baffles me.

  27. Here’s a post I wrote about the Huckleberry Finn problem, back in January 2011.
    http://roofbeamreader.com/2011/01/04/censoring-mark-twain-a-literary-embarrassment/

  28. Great post! You inspired me to post on my book blog about Banned Books Week! I especially like the Stephen King quote. Very interesting.

  29. I honestly own about 40% of the books on the list, lol…maybe I just like reading offensive material!! πŸ™‚

  30. I love that you are featuring Stephen King’s books. I am sort of proud of my extensive collection of SK books that are on my bookshelves. Love his work!

  31. I have a ton of banned books, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Alice in Wonderland, Black Beauty, The Catcher in the Rye, A Clockwork Orange, The Face on the Milk Carton, Fifty Shades Trilogy, Flowers for Algernon, Hamlet, James and the Giant Peach, Scary Stories, I think I have some others that I don’t remember offhand.
    Thanks for the giveaway! =)

  32. I work in a library, and just the other day my boss got a call from a student’s mother about how a book was inappropriate and needed to be pulled from our shelves. But my boss, the amazing woman she is, had the mom apologizing and offering to come volunteer by the end of the call.

  33. I have read quite a lof of banned books. Some of them are The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Giver, Stephen King’s books,Twilight, The Davinci code, Lord of the Rings and Alice in Wonderland

  34. I have plenty of banned books on my shelves, both figuratively and literally, including the classic, The Lord of the Rings, and plenty of LGBT books, that I’m sure certain parties would not approve of.

  35. I’ve read Harry Potter, Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games, and Speak.

  36. I have all Harry Potter books, Looking for Alaska, The Great Gatsby, etc.
    Sometimes in my country, if your book is harsh criticising the regime prepare your book would be banish all at one.

  37. I have Looking for Alaska, Thirteen Reasons Why, some books by Stephen King and Khaled Houssini (that I still haven’t read), and also Speak. I think I have some more books that are banned that I don’t know are. Does Will Grayson Will Grayson count as banned?

  38. My banned books are Harry Potter series, Twilight Series, Fifty Shades of Grey Series, The Lorax (which I had no idea was banned ) Lord of the Rings, The Outsiders, The Hunger Games Series, All of Hemmingway’s books and so much more!

  39. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight, To Kill A Mockingbird, Speak, Looking for Alaska, etc.

  40. I have a couple of the Harry Potter books and Twilight.

  41. I’ve read many banned books, like the Harry Potter series, Twilight Saga, Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hunger Games, and others. I loved most of them, and as far as I can say, most books are banned either the people who want a book banned are either too prudish or want to force their beliefs/views on everyone else or simple haven’t read the book itself, only the blurb, and freak over plot details like witches, vampires, magic etc. Of course, I see the point of keeping some books away from younger kids or even teen because they’re too graphic/explicit/scary, but otherwise all people should have the freedom to read what they want.

  42. Turns out I have many banned books on my shelf. Harry Potter, Hunger Games, To Kill A Mockingbird, 1984, Brave New World, and plenty of Stephen King.

  43. I have the Stephen King books. he’s one of my favorite authors. Tom Sawyer, Black Beauty, Huck Finn, Twilight, The Outsiders and more.

  44. Many of the books on my shelf are books that have been banned/challenged. I was fortunate enough to have amazing english teachers in high school. they allowed us to read these types of books in order for us to challenge ourselves, and the we are told to view the world. It opened me to different ideas, views and experiences in the world. and i loved it!!

  45. The Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games series, and The Great Gatsby are all on my bookshelf.

  46. I have HP, Hunger Games and Tolkien. And maybe some other books that I don’t know are banned!

  47. I have seen censorship but the only time I ever experienced it was at work where fantasy, horror and many other types of books I love were not allowed. I have several banned books on my shelves.

  48. I own a bunch of banned books. The most recently released ones are the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series but of course there are more. I think the thing is that there are a lot of us that just love to read and it doesnt matter what other peoples opinions of our books are it matters what we enjoy reading. Half the time I dont even understand why they are banning the book to begin with….

  49. The banned books on my shelf include The Hunger Games, Harry Potter series, Twilight, Eclipse, and The DaVinci Code.

  50. I’ve read quite a few: my favorites are TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and the ANASTASIA KRUPNIK series (which did cause a stir in my Catholic grade school, for ridiculous reasons).

  51. Many banned books live on my shelf. From The Handmaid’s Tale to the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, To Kill a Mockingbird, Twilight, Harry Potter, Julie of the Wolves .
    Censorship is sad.

  52. The Handmaid’s Tale is on my shelf.
    I have never experiences censorship

  53. Harry Potter, Hunger Games, The Hobbit and Romeo and Juliet are all on my shelf!

  54. seems like my favorite books are banned books, i think a book is all about the imagination and pushing it from reality. I love the Harry Potter series, Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings, The Glass castle, To Kill a Mockingbird, Mark Twain books, etc.

  55. I’ve a read a few of the banned book like the Hunger Games. I’ve never experienced censorship involving any type of books

  56. Some banned books on my shlef are Stephen King, Hunger Games, The Giver, The Hobbit, LOTR, Twilight and a few others.

  57. There are a lot of banned books on my shelf, I just added a few this week too like Ender’s Game. I’ve been lucky, I haven’t experienced any censorship when it comes to books.

  58. The Great Gatsby, Fahrenheit 451, Lord of the Flies, & To Kill A Mockingbird are on my shelf.

  59. The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, and 1984 are in my nearest bookcase. I’m glad I live somewhere liberal enough that book banning isn’t an issue.

  60. The Hunger Games and Harry Potter series are proudly displayed on my shelves πŸ˜€

  61. Harry Potter

  62. No personal censorship. I have read The Da Vinci Files; all Harry Potter books; The Outsiders; That Was Then, This Is Now; Animal Farm; 1984; A Wrinkle In Time; and many many more.

Leave a Reply to Sarah Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge