Monday, March 29, 2010

Surprising Banned Books

The Huffington Post has an article today on The 11 Most Surprising Banned Books. The one that surprised me the most was the dictionary. Apparently, it was banned from an elementary school for its definition of oral sex. I'd have thought that you'd have to be able to read pretty well to look that one up, and know what you're looking for too.

I'm really not keen on the idea of banning books. I certainly wouldn't have banned Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time
Because it's a tale of the battle of good and evil, many were concerned it was making a religious argument they didn't want their children exposed to.
I'm not in favour of religious indoctrination, being an atheist, but the battle of good and evil is the main theme of so many wonderful stories, including Lord of the Rings and most of Dr Who! For goodness sake, why do people feel so sure that they know what's right for everyone else?

It's always interesting to see who has banned what and why. Are there any books you would ban? Or would you always let readers decide for themselves?


Ann said...

Personally I think it is a sin to ban books. I read this article on the Huffington Post and was flabbergasted by all the books on this list and totally annoyed for the reasons cited. Who are these Prats! The world isn't half settled.

fairyhedgehog said...

Ann, who are these Prats, indeed!

PJD said...

A Light in the Attic? REALLY?

I love the reason for the banning of Brown Bear. I think the Texas School Board must also be responsible for the "no fly list" that kept Senator Ted Kennedy off commercial flights some years ago.

There are no books I would outright ban. Ban as in, "no one in this community is allowed to own or read this."

But there are probably some books I'd keep out of elementary schools. Something like "50 years of Playboy centerfolds" for example. If that exists, which I assume it would because I'm sure it would have sold a lot of copies.

Ultimately, banning books is an imposition of censorship, and censorship is incompatible with freedom of thought. It is borne of fear, and fear leads to prejudice and discrimination. Which is far worse than having a few kids read a rhyming story about animals.

Unknown said...

That dictionary banning happened in my home county. SO embarrassing.

I am vehemently anti-censorship, even if a book's content absolutely appalls me. However, I do reserve the right not to associate with people who are into content I find appalling :D

Old Kitty said...


The Word is definitely mightier than the sword.


Onwards writers, onwards!
p.s. the Diary of Anne Frank?!?!

Take care

Wings in the Night said...

I find myself agreeing with Old Kitty again. Certain books probably don't belong in a pre-school or elementary school.

But I don't believe in actually banning any book. At the same time, I'm also against required reading.

fairyhedgehog said...

Peter, banning a book because the author also wrote marxist literature is bad enough, but when he didn't because you've confused him with someone else... How do these people get into power?

I agree about the Playboy centrefolds!

maybe, we're none of us responsible for what our governments do. Thank goodness!

Kitty, there are certainly a lot of people around who realise that books can be dangerous! I wish they'd counter what they consider the wrong ideas with reasoning and not with censorship.

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