Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Controversial, Protested, and Banned

I know that sounds like a lot of what I do, but in this case it was inspired by a news story that came my way. I guess a parent was SHOCKED AND APPALLED (1) about the filth their local library was trying to pass off as literature. As is the case in almost all of these situations we have a group of parents who feel they are unable to control their own children, so they want the library to do it for them. And rather than admit that they are deficient as parents (or their kids are morons) they in turn feel the library should control your children too.

The people in Wisconsin started with one book, and then built quickly up to 82 books. Where does one draw the line? The ironic thing is there is a book that contains graphic violence, murder, mayhem, sex, incest, and abuse (2) that everyone of these people desperately want their children to read. The irony is lost on them. Now a group of busy bodies from a neighboring city have jumped on the bandwagon and want a good old-fashioned book burning. A book I treasure (3) would be destroyed by most, and yet a book beloved by them (4) I would be all for tossing (5). The point is you need to set the standards for your own family and let others have the privilege to do the same.

I mean honestly, if you do not want your child to read something tell them not to. If you don’t trust your children in such a situation then that says more about your relationship than about the books. Don’t let them check out books (use your library card). Stop patronizing the library. But what you should not do is take it upon your self to impose your values on my children, that is my job as a parent, not yours.

Anyways, the highlighted book from the article is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Luckily my library has a copy so I immediately checked it out. In fact I went to the American Library Associations website and found the lists of top 10 protested books for the last 8 years and the top 100 list of the 1990’s. I condensed it down (6) to a manageable list of 63. This will be my supplemental reading list for the next little while. If any of you would care to join me in my quiet protest against stupidity and fascism, please join in.

A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis
Anastasia Krupnik (Series), by Lois Lowry
And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Annie on my Mind, by Nancy Garden
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
Arizona Kid, by Ron Koertge,
Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
Captain Underpants (Series), by Dav Pilkey
Crazy Lady!, by Jane Leslie Conly
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat, by Alvin Schwartz
Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds,
Fade, by Robert Cormier
Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Meyers,
Family Secrets, by Norma Klein
Final Exit, by Derek Humphry
Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
Forever, by Judy Blume
Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
Gossip Girls (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Guess What?, by Mem Fox
In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
Jack, by A.M. Homes
Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
Jump Ship to Freedom, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
Jumper, by Steven Gould
Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
Killing Mr. Griffin, by Lois Duncan
King & King, by Linda deHaan
Mommy Laid An Egg, by Babette Cole
My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
Native Son by Richard Wright
Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
On My Honor, by Marion Dane Bauer
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
Running Loose, by Chris Crutcher
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene
The Anarchist Cookbook, by William Powell
The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
The Drowning of Stephen Jones, by Bette Greene
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline Cooney
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
The Goats, by Brock Cole
The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
The House of Spirits, by Isabel Allende
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
The Pigman, by Paul Zindel
The Stupids (Series), by Harry Allard
The Wish Giver, by Bill Brittain
TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Uncle Bobby's Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones

(1) SHOCKED AND APPALLED – an inside joke referring to the letters to the editor page of the Daily Universe, the school paper of BYU. Nothing is more protesty than a bunch of twenty-somethings who also happen to be Mormon. Way to idealistic and sheltered, hence they are easily shocked and appalled.

(2) The Bible

(3) The Book of Mormon

(4) Left Behind Series (Religious Porn)

(5) Tossing – but I wouldn’t. You know what I do when I see these books at my library? I pass by them and never check them out. Amazing how efficiently that works. I don’t actually need my librarian to hide them from me.

(6) I got rid of the books I have read, like the Harry Potter or Dark Materials series; or books I don't want to read, like Hey we got bodies (sex ed books targeted for the younger audience).


Heather said...

I have a serious problem turning down books that I don't want to read. They just scream at me in the library and then I have to pick them up and read them. It is so sad.

TStevens said...

I checked out the most banned/protested book of the last 5 years. Review posting shortly.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading banned books for a while now - and I've been surprised at some of the books which have made the list, like Pillars of the Earth or the Curious Incident of the Dog at Midnight! I liked The Giver. It ends abruptly, but if you read the sequels, it makes a little more sense. The Earth, My Butt and Other Round Things was an okay book, and I think there is nothing shocking in it for a teen. The Wallflower book, I could take or leave. To me, it tried to be a Catcher in the Rye (also banned/challenged) update and just wasn't as good. I'd give my kids Catcher instead. I've got to give my kid's school some praise though, they read the Outsiders last year, another little banned book LOL!

Anonymous said...

I also read the Left Behind series and liked the religious porn comment. I read them a couple of years ago because someone kept suggesting them. Actually, it is quite an interesting eye-opener on how these people think the end is coming. Interesting and just a tad bit strange. Probably upped the sales of Hummers for sure.

Anonymous said...

btw, anonymous is Suzanne. Sorry - forgot to sign my name (don't have an account).

TStevens said...

I will be shocked if any of these titles shock me.

Lena said...

I was surprised at how many on this list I had read. Not a terribly large amount, but some. I might pick a few to read as well. I look forward to the reviews.

TStevens said...

I was surprised by a lot to because remember this is only the (approximately) half I haven' read.