October 1, 2008

Banned Book Week

This week is banned book week. So, what do you think? Is there ever a situation where a book should be banned?

Personally, I'm against banning books, at least in public libraries. I don't think, however, that all books should be available in school libraries or designated children's sections of other libraries, particularly elementary school libraries. I think that the librarians should have some discretion as to what it age-appropriate.

Here's a list of commonly banned books. Have you read any of them? I've read:

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
23. Go Ask Alice
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
62. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Clooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

To be honest, I couldn't tell you why some of these would be banned. What do you think? Do you think any of these books should be banned?


  1. I was going to respond, but it got really long, so I posted a blog instead! :P

  2. I don't think any book should ever be banned. Free speech works to make the stupid people look stupid and the smart people work smart. Banning the "bad" stuff only serves to romantacize it, giving it an allure it would not otherwise have, basically martyring it. Banned book = instant bestseller.

  3. I really can't see why some of these books have been banned. I'm against book banning too. I agree with what Marie said, "banned book = instant bestseller".

  4. I find it interesting to see what books turn up on banned book lists. On this particular list, I have read 8 of the 24. On other lists, it varies. And on this list, I can't tell you why any of the ones I've read should be banned. I certainly don't think that every book is appropriate for every age group. I think that parents should have responsibility over what their own children read. But I also don't think that every book should be available to children.

  5. Interesting. I loved this entry and posted my own banned-books-read list at my blog.

    No, I don't think any of these books should be banned, although I do think some of the books on the list are inappropriate for children, poorly written, or of little redeeming value. But most of them (at least of the ones I've read) are really wonderful books!


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