So today is the start of "Banned Book Week", it's the week where the American Library Association draws attention to the most "Challenged" books that exist in our society today. I never really thought much about this topic until I happened to glance at the list of books and was shocked by some of the books that I saw on the list. The more I looked, the angrier I got.
I applaud any parent who realizes that their child is not mature enough to handle certain topics but that should not mean that the book gets banned from public libraries- it might just need an age requirement in order to be checked out.
I'm going to highlight some of the books that I read when I was in grade school or high school that are now on the list:
1. Mark Twain by Samuel Clemmons- I read this book and watched the Walt Disney movie when I was a young child. While the language that is used in the book is not acceptable today, the book is worth reading. This is something that I would let an older child read with a conversation of what is and isn't acceptable in our society and how we have grown and changed over the years.
2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee- This is a fabulously written book and in my opinion is a cry to arms against the social injustice of racism and the evils that it perpetrates in our society. The movie adaptation is fantastic and ranks twenty-fifth on the American Film Institutes 10th Anniversary List of the greatest American movies of all time.
3. Charlotte's Webb by E.B. White- I loved this book and can't even imagine what has caused this book to be on the list.
4. Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne- Really, again no clue as to why this book would be on the banned or challenged list and all I can say is "Wake Up" people.
5. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell- I'm assuming that this is banned due to the racism of the time but I found this book to be interesting and also a warning. This is a book that I would recommend for older teens but still would not ban.
6. The Lord Of The Rings by JRR Tolkien - Again I have no idea why this book would be banned except that it is a fantasy based on folklore. Seriously if you can't tell the difference between reality and fiction.....it's time to get a clue!
7. The Call Of The Wild by Jack London- While I personally found this to be a boring book to read, I certainly don't think it should be banned or challenged. It's an interesting look at our American past. Again this is a book for an older child- clearly not meant for someone who is not mature.
8. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier- This is a fantastic book but again is meant for a mature reader. The movie adaptation is also fantastic!
9. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hamett - Another great classic meant for a mature reader. Another fantastic film adaptation.
10. The War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells- While this book was not necessarily my cup of tea, it too can be read by a mature reader. There have been several adaptations of this book and while the version from the 1950's is very campy...I kinda like it.....
So be informed and read one of the banned books....I dare you!
Here is a link to the American Library Association - just put Banned Books in their search engine to see everything that is going on this week
American Library Association
Stand up for your right to read!