Top Ten Stupidly Banned Books

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This Top Ten Tuesday topic is supposed to be “Books on my Fall TBR”, but given that this Banned Books Week, I’m doing something different. Interrupting our normally scheduled programming, I bring  you ‘The Top Ten Stupidly Banned Books” Banned or Challenged.  This is only my opinion, of course. The list is populated with books that – if I have not read them, I can at least immediately see the stupidity behind challenging/banning them. I’m sure there are lots more that should be on this list. Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

Top Ten Stupidly Banned Books

  1. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss was banned because forest industry people thought it made logging look bad. Imagine that, people chopping down our tree and ruining our environment concerned about looking bad. Huh. Who’d’a thunk it? This one definitely deserves the number one spot for stupidly banned books.the-lorax

2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Coming in a close 2nd, we have the book about banning books that was banned because (shock and horror!) one of the books banned in it was The Bible. One mustn’t mess with religious texts, you know. They’re sacred. (Coolthulhu henceforth bans the burning of scientific texts because they’re sacred to him.)

3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Apparently it’s pornographic. But, er, having read the book multiple times, I can tell you that absolutely nothing pornographic happens. I mean, there is a scene with two boys wrestling naked whilst one is covered in soap, but considering it’s Ender fighting for his life… I don’t really think that can be considered pornographic. Unless maybe the person who was reading it got their rocks off on the idea of idea of someone fighting naked for their life… maybe that’s why they thought it was pornographic? (Coolthulhu says: “Don’t let your fetishes get in the way of my books!”)and-tango-makes-three

4. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson. It’s a fictionalized account of the true story of two male penguins who became partners and raised a penguin chick.  So, excuse me for a second… *drags soapbox over, climbs up on it, shouts “You homophobic ignorant unwaxed, unwashed arsehats!” several times, then climbs back down and pushes the box to the side.*

5. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. God forbid a young girl in a horrible situation take a few minutes to talk about the fact that she’s going through puberty.

6. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. The Dark Arts! Occult! Satanic! Vioooooooolence. What I worry about, honestly, is the kids who live in families where they can look at Harry Potter as an evil/bad thing because of a little wand-waving. I mean, it’s not like it’s a pretty epic story of a young boy going up against great evil or something. Not like it points out to abused young children that they can still find acceptance and friendship. These same people are who are trying to ban it for violence..er..have they ever read the Bible? Like, truly read it? Because, uhm, thats violent. Like, really really really really violent. Harry Potter has a few fights and a few deaths. So…. yeah.

7. It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris. Because it’s been proven without a doubt that avoiding talking about puberty, sex, and sexual health is the best way to make sure kids don’t do anything they’re not supposed to do with their ‘private parts’.

I mean, the best thing to do is definitely just to ask them to take a pledge to avoid sex all together. SO effective!! See, look at this example:

According to Columbia University researchers, virginity pledge programs increase pledge-takers’ risk for STIs and pregnancy. The study concluded that 88 percent of pledge-takers initiated sex prior to marriage even though some delayed sex for a while. Rates of STIs among pledge-takers and non-pledgers were similar, even though pledge-takers initiated sex later. Pledge-takers were less likely to seek STI testing and less likely to use contraception when they did have sex. – Advocates for Youth

8. Earth’s Children Series by Jean M. Auel. Now, I’ve read this whole series, and – on the whole – I love it, but I can see where parents might have thought about challenging it for graphic sexual content. ‘Cause wooo…yeah, uhm, it gets a little explicit.  However I still think it’s completely ridiculous because no one picks up these books for the sporadic intercourse contained within. They pick them up, and then get fascinated with them, because it is a richly detailed, wonderful immersion into the pre-written history world. Auel has a talent (and did tons of research) for painting such a vivid picture of not only the plants and animals from that time, but also of society, culture, and the trials and tribulations early man faced.  Challenging or banning these books because of the sex is just stupid.  By the time you get old enough to read and understand these books, trust me you know about tab into slot b and all the things in between.james-and-the-giant-peach

9. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. Are you freaking kidding me? Apparently this book encourages disobedience towards parental figures, and has bad language in it. (Coolthulhu would like to take a minute to note that if the parents who challenged this book want to hear a real example of bad language he’d be happy to oblige.)

10. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer apparently got banned or challenged regularly for “religious viewpoint” and “violence”.  Yep, take a badly written high-school drama about sparkly pedo vampires and personality-challenged young girls that you could rant about for ages because of the controlling, emotionally abusive relationship ……and grouch about the fact that it doesn’t conform to your religious beliefs, and that two groups of people beat each other up in. That makes perfect sense. Bravo. (and if you’re one of the people who think Twilight should have been banned for the religious viewpoint, etc, let me just take a moment to make sure you understand that “That makes perfect sense. Bravo” was sarcasm.)

13 thoughts on “Top Ten Stupidly Banned Books

  1. I love your take on this week’s TTT, and it’s really interesting seeing some of the books that have been banned for one reason or another. I’m really surprised that The Lorax and James and the Giant Peach ended up being banned, like, really?

  2. Reading some of these banned books lists makes me realize how actually (somewhat progressive) our tight-ass school district was. I’m not sure if they really banned any and one I know that was banned in a lot of places was Curse, Spells and Hexes which I checked out quite regularly. I *ahem* commandeered most of my Stephen King books from there.

  3. I think my favorite reason for banning a book was Little Red Riding Hood, because the cover had a wine bottle in the basket, which ‘promotes alcoholism.’ o_O
    Great list!

  4. Censorship is weird. Back some years ago, I was examining a children’s story-telling device which coordinated a 45 rpm record narration with a display of still scenes on a celluloid strip to tell stories.

    The story I found nearest to hand? “Jane Eyre.” Because abusive step-parents, schools that starve children, employers who want to commit adultery with their household staff, amorous cousins, and fearful mutilations from a fire are definitely subjects for 5-8-year-olds.

    Ah, but this device dated from the early 1960s. So the step-parents are gone. Most of the school story is elided. Mrs. Rochester is presented without much comment. And immediately the story concluded by saying that “somehow” Jane and Rochester were able to marry anyhow.

    Kind of reminds one of the “improved” version of “King Lear” in which Cordelia survives, is reunited with her father, gets married, and for all I know becomes a world-famous saxophone player.

  5. Love your topic and your commentary. I’ve never really thought of it but what does it say about society when a true life tale ends up on a banned books list. Hmmm….

    I’ve always hated the idea of censorship in any form and am glad banned books get so much attention this time of year!

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