Banned And Challanged Books…

I was sitting here pretty much bored. I read for about an hour, I filed my taxes on line, went through some mail, decided I did not feel like paying any bills, I didn’t really feel like blogging (weird huh!), I didn’t want to watch TV, I’m not tired and I don’t nap so I had this dilemma of what the heck to do with my time…
So I decided that since I had seen so many bloggers who apparently “Stumble Upon” things, I figured I would see what that was all about. So after joining, I decided to give it a whirl. I am an avid reader so I decided to stumble around and see what is going on with some books.
Well I hit the stumble button about 4 times but the 5th time something interesting caught my eye.
A website which listed banned and challenged books. Huummmm, this sounds fun, lets see!
This looked interesting, so I stopped to read for a while. I found some of the reasons behind the banning and challenging of some of these books to be ridiculous! Let me give you a list of some of the books which were listed that actually surprised me:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Mark Twain [Samuel L. Clemens]. Airmont; And/Or Press; Bantam; Grosset; Longman; NAL; Pocket Bks. Excluded from the children’s room in the Brooklyn, N.Y. Public Library (1876) and the Denver, Colo. Public Library (1876). Confiscated at the USSR border (1930). Removed from the seventh grade curriculum in the West Chester, Pa. schools (1994) after parents complained that it is too full of racially charged language.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll. Ace; Bantam; Crown; Delacorte; Dover; NAL; Norton; Penguin; Random; St. Martin. Banned in China (1931) for portraying animals and humans on the same level, “Animals should not use human language.”

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne Frank. Modern Library. Challenged in Wise County, Va. (1982) due to “sexually offensive” passages. Four members of the Alabama State Textbook Committee (1983) called for the rejection of this book because it is a “real downer.”

Where’s Waldo? Martin Handford. Little. Challenged at the Public Libraries of Saginaw, Mich. (1989), Removed from the Springs Public School library in East Hampton, N.Y. (1993) because there is a tiny drawing of a woman lying on the beach wearing a bikini bottom but no top.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Airmont; Bantam; Harper; Houghton; Macmillan; NAL. Challenged in the Waukegan, Ill. School District (1984) because the novel contains the word “nigger.” Never mind that the novel is often credited with raising public antislavery sentiment, which ultimately led to the emancipation of American slaves.

Paradise Lost. John Milton. Airmont; Holt; Modern Library/Random; NAL; Norton. Listed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum in Rome (1758).

Raisin in the Sun. Lorraine Hansberry. Random. The Ogden, Utah School District (1979) restricted circulation of Hansberry’s play in response to criticism from an anti-pornography organization.

To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee. Lippincott/Harper; Popular Library. This novel has been challenged quite a lot due to its racial themes. Challenged–and temporarily banned–in Eden Valley, Minn.(1977); Challenged at the Warren, Ind. Township schools (1981), because the book “represents institutionalized racism under the guise of ‘good literature’.” After unsuccessfully banning the novel, three black parents resigned from the township human relations advisory council. Banned from the Lindale, Tex. advanced placement English reading list (1996) because the book “conflicted with the values of the community.”

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl. Bantam; Knopf; Penguin. Removed from a locked reference collection at the Boulder, Colo. Public Library (1988), where it had been placed because the librarian thought the book espoused a poor philosophy of life.

The Bible. William Tyndale, who partially completed translating the Bible into English, was captured, strangled, and burned at the stake (1536) by opponents of the movement to translate the bible into the vernacular. Beginning around 1830, “family friendly” bibles, including Noah Webster’s version (1833) began to appear which had excised passages considered to be indelicate.

Brave New World. Aldous Huxley. Harper. Banned in Ireland (1932). Removed from classroom in Miller, Mo. (1980). Challenged at the Yukon, Okla. High School (1988); challenged as required reading in the Corona-Norco, Calif. Unified School District (1993) because the book “centered around negative activity.”

To see more of this list go to The forbidden library. I think I’ll stumble around some more!
Peace & Love!

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pam
    Feb 28, 2008 @ 20:26:00

    Wow! I will have to check that out more closely!

  2. Mes Deux Cents
    Feb 28, 2008 @ 21:20:00

    Hi Regina,This doesn’t really surprise me. There are a lot of regressive people around. I hope most of those books have been un-banned by now.

  3. theblackactor.com
    Feb 28, 2008 @ 21:37:00

    Very interesting post, Regina.Like Pam, Ima revisit it.Cosign with Mes Deux.

  4. Melanie
    Feb 28, 2008 @ 22:57:00

    This is a really interesting list. I think most of them are surprising.

  5. thechocl8tdiaries
    Feb 29, 2008 @ 06:59:00

    Sometimes adults prove to be more stupid and closed-minded than the children they’re attempting to “protect”. It’s asinine. The banning of the books also is the easy way out. It gets teachers off the hook for creating a effective thoughtful lesson plan for the book possibly opening productive dialogue. What a shame!

  6. Ana
    Feb 29, 2008 @ 08:36:00

    Wow that was interesting. I detect some serious Anti-christian sentiments in the book choices. I’ll have to check it out further.

  7. common mom
    Feb 29, 2008 @ 12:16:00

    Wow . . . ya know those people are out there, but come on! Open your mind a little and see what this stuff is really about. Have a sense of history and, in the words of Rafiki “Look beyond what you see.” There are a number of books I will have my children read that I know they’d never have access to on their own. And really, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? I think that lady has bought one too many lotter tickets and is p’ed that she didn’t win! And Waldo – what kid is actually gonna notice the teeny tiny woman? Heck – there are Barbies wearing next to nothing all over the place . . . why are they still there at our children’s eye level? Sheesh…Thanks for publishing this . . . while not surprising, it was very enlightening.

  8. Anonymous
    Feb 29, 2008 @ 13:04:00

    Hi Reginia, some of the books are banned because of the words used like nigger, but, we need to move on and limit banned books

  9. mama meji
    Feb 29, 2008 @ 18:03:00

    I love a couple- even more 🙂 of these books. Gotta check what they say about my other fave too.

  10. Rosemarie
    Mar 01, 2008 @ 14:05:00

    I don’t understand why folks are using their precious time and energy to ban the classics. I sure hope many of these have returned to library shelves everywhere.

  11. Hey it's Amy Shipp
    Mar 01, 2008 @ 22:22:00

    I need a T-shirt that says “I read banned books” since I have read all of those. 😉

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