I decided to venture from today’s Top Ten Tuesday group topic to celebrate Banned book week. I am really enjoying banned book week to celebrate our freedom to be able to read what we want and the books that helped shape who we are.
- The Grapes of Wrath. This is by far one of my all time favorite books. In 1939 the book was banned in many places due to it’s subject matter and some of the violence in it. Interestingly, Kern County California, John Steinbeck’s home county, banned it because they felt that they were incorrectly portrayed those that were in power. It took a lone librarian fighting behind the scenes to get this ban over turned. Why I love this book: It shows the grittiness of life during the great depression, people in my generation and younger have no clue what it was like in this period of America. So many of us have such a hard time understanding what it’s knowing that people were starving to death in our own country.
- To Kill a Mocking Bird. This is another of my favorites, it was banned for it’s description of rape and more recently because of it’s use of racial slurs. Why I love it: if I had to pin point one book that changed my outlook on literature it would be this one. I read it in the 10th grade and fell in love with literature in general. I always loved reading but this book was like my first taste of a gourmet meal.
- James and the Giant Peach. There are a few reasons this book has been banned or challenged because of its sexual innuendo, the word “ass,” and magic. Why I love this book: Roald Dahl…need I say more?
- Where the Wild Things Are. It was banned when it initially came out because temper tantrums in boys at the time were deemed to be dangerous and this book glorified that. Also, it was felt that a child being sent to bed without supper would be traumatic for the child. Why I love this book: the book captures the magic and honesty with children.
- Slaughter House Five. Most recently this book was banned in 2012 because a local professor wrote in a local paper the book “contains so much profane language, it would make a sailor blush with shame.” It has since been put back into the library but in a secure section only accessible by parents. Teachers are not allowed to read from it or require it for reading. Why I love this book: It’s just such a wonderful book. It’s a fantastic piece of American science fiction.
- The Great Gatsby. It is the usual suspects, references to sex and partying. Why I love this book: Because at the end of all that partying and glitz and glam the reality of those people showed through.
- The Sun Also Rises. The Reason why this book was banned because of its promiscuity and drug use. Why I love it: There is just something about Hemingways writing that I just love.
- The Call of the Wild. It’s violent and dark tone. Why I love this book: Ok I hate this book. I have been forced to read it in schools more than once and it just bored the hell out of me. However, the nature of the book in and of itself made a long lasting positive impression on me.
- Harry Potter. Because of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Why I love this book: This is more than just magic, this is a book about friendship, loyalty and a definite distinction between right and wrong.
- A Day No Pigs Would Die. This one is a shocker to me. It made an impression on my when I read it in junior high. Apparently the book is too graphic. Pigs *gasp* have sex (because contrary to popular belief not all barnyard animals are born through invitro-fertilization), animals give birth and they were killed! for the love of humanity!! Why I love this book: It was just so real and raw. The relationship between the father and his son made a huge impression on me.
These are my favorite books that have been banned both past and presently. For more on Banned book week go to Banned Book Weeks officially website. Also I love the Librarian Who Doesn’t say Shhh!’s blog post from today. It’s a wealth of information for anyone looking to get more involved with Banned Book Week.
So get out there people and celebrate our freedom by reading a book!