Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: Banned Book Week

Happy Banned Book Week, Persephoneers! 

I always loved this week when I was a teen because Barnes & Noble would set up a table of frequently banned books and I’d go eagerly browse them in hopes of finding something controversial to read. The ALA has a ton of cool info about Banned Books Week, including lists of the most commonly banned classics, a year-by-year breakdown of what’s been challenged/banned recently, and more. My to-read list just got bigger, and I even found a few books I need to get the kiddo (some people really don’t like gay penguins!).

What’s your favorite banned book? I’m awfully partial to the Harry Potter books, of course, and To Kill a Mockingbird and Gone With the Wind are both amazing.

By [E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.

8 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: Banned Book Week”

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is one of the best books I’ve read. Ever. I can absolutely see why it’s challenged, and perhaps it should be, because depending on the teen, it isn’t always age-appropriate. However, it’s spectacular.

Captain Underpants has been challenged? Wow. Sad. Those books are hilarious. Julie of the Wolves? I don’t even understand how that could be a problem. Apparently people are way more uptight about books than I’d realized.

Ok, so I’m reading the list and I get to Summer of My German Soldier and in the reasons it lists racism as one of them. Really. Racism in a book about a Jewish girl feeling alienated in the deep south in the 40s. In a book that deals with Nazis. Really. I don’t even. The best I can figure is that there is some point of order about the fact that the town’s people call the Chinese man who owns the grocery store a racist slur. They also destroy his shop. It’s not like she doesn’t show it as a negative.

And I only just got around to reading Perks of Being a Wallflower but I liked it a lot.

ETA: Classics I love are Catch-22, Slaughterhouse Five, and Brave New World.

Out of those top tens, definitely His Dark Materials and The Color Purple. Classics: Catch-22 and Lord of the Rings. If Ulysses is banned for something, it should be for being really, really hard to read.

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels are also on the list, I think, and I’ve read the hell out of those.

I do my best to read banned/challenged books, if for no other reason but to be able to respond to “IT TEACHES EVILZ” with “well, *actually*, this book is about…” and sound really smart and stuff.

Of course, I’m just re-reading “The Stand” for the billiontieth time right now. But Stephen King’s a challenged author since he writes horror books and doesn’t portray all religious people as Perfect, so it counts, right?


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