It’s Banned Books Week, so this week’s topic is “banned books you’ve read”. I was happy to see this because I felt like it was one I could easily participate in!
1.) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – CHALLENGED/BANNED in 1987, 1992, 2006 because of…the dirty words. Because banning a book about banning books is pretty much the ultimate irony. Idiots.
2.) 1984 by George Orwell – Because banning a book about Big Brother watching everything you do, and making sure everything you read/watch/engage with is ‘approved’ is pretty much the one way to make even NON-paranoid people give you the stink-eye.
3.) The House of Night series by P.C. & Christine Cast: CHALLENGED in 2014/2015 at a library in Texas (Shock! Horror! Surprise!) because of the vampire theme. Uh, these books are vampire-lite. Don’t get me wrong, I like them well enough, but they’re school-aged vampires, for crying out loud! Good god, if you’re going to ban a vampire book, ban Twilight (its the one that’s got the pedo-vamp in it!) Oh wait, nevermind, they tried that too!
4.) The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer: Challenged in 2014/2015 at the same location as number 4 on the list. Apparently the minister of that town really had something against vampires, or a secret fetish for them. I’m voting fetish.
5.) The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: Challenged in 2013 (but retained) at a school in Michigan because of the anatomical descriptions in the book. Holy shit, cause God forbid someone going through puberty read about someone going through puberty.
Y’know what…lets keep going…
6.) Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi: REMOVED in 2013, via a District Directive, from all Chicago, Il, public schools due to “graphic illustrations and language” and concerns about “developmental preparedness” and “student readiness”. I bet the same people who pulled this complete and utter shit have no problem letting their kids play…hmmm, basically ANY action video game out there, and I can almost promise you those contain more graphic depictions. This is a black and white graphic novel, for Circe’s sake, about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. No, its not gonna be all sunshine and cheerios. Its, you know, important!
7.) Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – Challenged in 2012 by one parent and one student who saw Ender’s Game, as well as a couple other novels the teacher read excerpts from, as being “pornographic”. …..Pornographic? ENDER’S GAME? Its about adolescent kids being worked to the bone learning to fight aliens, FFS! How the heck do you get ‘pornographic’ anywhere in this novel? I imagine the parent and student who read this probably would see my description of a pencil as “smooth, rigid hardness with a tip that begged to be used” as pornographic too. Good god. People scare me.
8.) 50 Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James – REMOVED (but later returned) in Brevard County Libraries in Fl (2012) due its graphic sex scenes and… okay, we all know why this book was banned. Should it have been banned based on content? No. No one makes you read a book like this. Now, if you ask me whether I think it should be banned due to quality of writing, that’s a whole ‘nother story…
I… was going to keep going because I’ve read a lot of banned books, but the more I write this article, the angrier I get. Books should be the very last thing you try to ban. The. very. last. Tell you what, once you clean up the tripe on our airways, then we can start talking about books, but until that happens (and we all know it never will) BACK. OFF. THE. BOOKS!!