Banned Book Week Manifesto

October 2, 2009 at 6:42 am (To Do) (, , )


To you zealots and bigots and false
patriots who live in fear of discourse.
You screamers and banners and burners
who would force books
off shelves in your brand name
of greater good.

You say you’re afraid for children,
innocents ripe for corruption
by perversion or sorcery on the page.
But sticks and stones do break
bones, and ignorance is no armor.
You do not speak for me,
and will not deny my kids magic
in favor of miracles.

You say you’re afraid for America,
the red, white and blue corroded
by terrorists, socialists, the sexually
confused. But we are a vast quilt
of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered
identities. You cannot speak for those
whose ancestors braved
different seas.

You say you’re afraid for God,
the living word eroded by Muhammed
and Darwin and Magdalene.
But the omnipotent sculptor of heaven
and earth designed intelligence.
Surely you dare not speak
for the father, who opens
his arms to all.

A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.

— Ellen Hopkins,
bestselling author of Crank and newly published Tricks


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What do You Think?

October 1, 2009 at 6:15 am (Book World) (, , )

Here’s ten reasons given for banning books from the ALA (scroll to the end of the page.)

1. “Encourages children to break dishes so they won’t have to dry them.” (A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstien)
2. “It caused a wave of rapes.” (Arabian Nights, or Thousand and One Nights, anonymous)
3. “If there is a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it?” (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown)
4. “Tarzan was ‘living in sin’ with Jane.” (Tarzan, by Edgar Rice Burroughs)
5. “It is a real ‘downer.’” (Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank)
6. “The basket carried by Little Red Riding Hood contained a bottle of wine, which condones the use of alcohol.” (Little Red Riding Hood, by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm K. Grimm)
7. “One bunny is white and the other is black and this ‘brainwashes’ readers into accepting miscegenation.” (The Rabbit’s Wedding, by Garth Williams)
8. “It is a religious book and public funds should not be used to purchase religious books.” (Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, by Walter A. Elwell, ed.)
9. “A female dog is called a bitch.” (My Friend Flicka, by Mary O’Hara)
10. “An unofficial version of the story of Noah’s Ark will confuse children.” (Many Waters, by Madeleine C. L’Engle)

See why awareness is required?  Stand up to book banning.

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My Favorite Banned Books – The Children’s List

September 30, 2009 at 6:13 am (Book World) (, , , )

  1. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
  2. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
  3. Goosebumps (Series), by R.L. Stine
  4. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
  5. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
  6. Blubber, by Judy Blume
  7. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters, by Lynda Madaras
    Note:  I haven’t read this one, but really?  Isn’t the point of this book rather self evident?
  8. The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
  9. James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
  10. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume

For the record, it was incredibly difficult to only pick the handful here. Short of copying the whole list and cutting what I hadn’t read, I didn’t know how to pick my favorites.  So I arbitrarily selected titles.

I encourage you to check out the full list:  Frequently Challenge by Decade: 1990 to 1999

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My Favorite Banned Books – The Classics List

September 29, 2009 at 6:09 am (Book World) (, , )

  1. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  3. The Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  4. 1984, George Orwell
  5. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  6. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien\

Surprised?  Try these this starting point for information or Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century

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Top Ten Banned books of 2008

September 28, 2009 at 6:02 am (Book World) (, )

For more information, check out

  • And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  • His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
  • TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  • Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence
  • Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
  • Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  • Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
    Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group
  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  • Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
    Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group

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