Banned Book Week

Discussion in 'Books' started by dearprudence, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. dearprudence

    dearprudence Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    With September 20-27, 2003 being Banned Book Week, I thought I'd share a fairly recent list of books which are often banned in public libraries.

    The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000
    1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
    2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
    3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
    5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
    8. Forever by Judy Blume
    9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
    10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
    12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
    13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    14, The Giver by Lois Lowry
    15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
    16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
    17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
    18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    19. Sex by Madonna
    20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
    21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
    22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
    24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
    25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
    26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
    27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
    28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
    29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
    30. The Goats by Brock Cole
    31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
    32. Blubber by Judy Blume
    33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
    34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
    35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
    36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
    37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
    39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
    41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
    43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
    44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
    45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
    46. Deenie by Judy Blume
    47.Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
    48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
    49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
    50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
    51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
    52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
    54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
    55. Cujo by Stephen King
    56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
    57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
    58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
    59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
    60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
    61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
    62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
    63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
    64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
    65. Fade by Robert Cormier
    66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
    67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
    68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
    69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    71. Native Son by Richard Wright
    72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
    73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
    74. Jack by A.M. Homes
    75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
    76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
    77. Carrie by Stephen King
    78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
    79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
    80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
    81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
    82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
    83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
    84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
    85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
    86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
    87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
    88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
    89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
    90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
    91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
    92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
    93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
    94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
    95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
    96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
    97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
    98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
    99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
    100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  2. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    19. Sex by Madonna

    This wasn't in my public library!

    28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein

    Can't imagine anyone having a problem with that one :eek:

    87. Private Parts by Howard Stern

    Nor that one....
  3. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    One thing these lists never give is context on the specific cases. For instance, often, these challenges/bans are very age specific. Now whether or not they are legit in isolation, it certainly is at least conceivable that certain books might not be appropriate for certain age groups.

    And the "Sex" book by Madonna seems quite legit. Wouldn't you be pissed if your kid's school library spent a red cent on that book that could have been spent on something else?

    Nonetheless, in looking over the list, I can't find a single book that would have a legit reason for being challenged by anyone who really cares about education and free speech.
  4. _chachi

    _chachi New Member

    Mar 15, 1999
    new jersey, usa
    judy blume must be stopped!!!!
  5. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    I'm all for banning the Harry Potter series. And for burning them in the pit of hell.
  6. dearprudence

    dearprudence Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    One of the reasons I found this list so interesting is the sheer number of books on the list which were required reading for me!

    As the Doctor said, I think there needs to be more of an age requirement rather than a banning. My understanding is that Where's Waldo has a topless sunbather in one of the pictures - so we ban it?

    I'm not pro-Harry Potter by any means, but I'm honest enough to say that one is either pro- book banning or anti- book banning. I'm against it, so I'll put up with the ones I don't care to read - because no one's ever put a gun to my head at the public library and forced me to read anything!
  7. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    A lot of those books are award winners, including a couple that took home the Newberry Medal. Judy Blume's heavy presence doesn't surprise me, as she ALWAYS makes parents squirm. She tends to write sexual scenes in adolescent books. It's done respectfully and very realistically, but the question that always pops up in the challenges to her work is "do children's books need THAT level of reality."

    Gringo, just out of curiosity, have you ever read one of the HP books? (Not calling you out or anything, but I had the same attitude as you did before I'd read one, and now I love the whole series. Rowling has improved tenfold as a writer, and the characters and foreshadowing are all superb)
  8. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

    Club Brugge
    Aug 19, 2002
    Club Brugge KV
    I don't like the Potter series as well, the obvious reason being that I'm an adult (well, part of the time), and her books are meant for kids. But that's not the only problem. I have read some childrens literature, including Rowling, and I don't like her style either, even seen through a childrens literature looking glass .

    My main objection is that her books leave close to nothing to the imagination of the reader.: J.K. Rowling exhaust herself in descriptions and adverbs.
    All actions and emotions are handed on a silver plater to the reader. Rowling effectively shuts down the brain of the reader. She thinks in the place of the reader, feeding him a cliché at times, answering to both his questions and expectations of the story, while sending the reader in the direction she wants him to wander into. There's nothing there for a reader in search of more mystical elements in a story (which wouldn't be bad, seeing the background of the potter-series). A mystical atmosphere is not built with abundance, but with quite the opposite, it's built with what has to be read between the lines.
    In the end, all you are left with is an easy to read book, that leaves no impact what so ever (which is probably one of the reasons the series is so popular). It's a quick bite, fastfood literature, in which it doesn't matter if it is served cold or warm.
  9. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998

    Well, Lord of the Rings fits the same mold. At the time, they were intended for a younger audience as well. To look at the opposite end of the spectrum, one of the books on that list, "The Chocolate War" by Cormier was written for adults, but caught on more with the kids. It goes both ways. As an English Ed student, I come across more books intended for a younger audience than most 23 year olds, but for the most part, alot of them are still good reading. As to Rowling's style, that seems to be growing as quickly as her characters. For example, if you read the 1st three chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, and then read the 1st three chapters of HP and the Order of the Phoenix, you'll barely recognize the writing. She's become a much better writer over the last couple of years. In fact, I don't let some of my cousins read the newer Potter books yet because they are set for an older crowd.

    I would disagree that she leaves nothing to the imagination. I think the movies took that away a little, but pre-movie, everyone had a slightly different interpretation of what the characters or settings looked like. As for her use of cliche', that's another thing that got better over the years. She's just about cliche' free now.

    She does use alot of description and modifying words, but that's part of the charm of the work. It's also part of the reason teachers love to work with it. It's a great tool for teaching both grammar as well as concepts like foreshadowing and dialogue (every one of her characters has a distinctive voice.) I'm not going to "attack" anyone for not liking it. If everyone liked a book, it would be boring. Just wanted to toss out an opposing opinion.
  10. amerifolklegend

    amerifolklegend New Member

    Jul 21, 1999
    Oakley, America
    I'm doing my part to stick it to The Man.

    I've watched the following movies:

    I've obviously never read a single book on that list.
  11. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    I read the first one and half the second one. Her plots are ok and she creates clever puns.

    I have two main problems with her:

    1) She's a horrible stylist. Her prose is the bastardized child of Piers Anthony and Dahl.

    2) Harry Potter is a girl. That's right- a girl. I don't care if Rowling calls him a boy or not; he's a girl and that very important fact renders every dynamic in the series hollow and dishonest.
  12. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    I agree with the prose issues from those books. The series doesn't reach that "next level" until about halfway through book three. As to your second point, I'm not quite sure what you mean. Do you mean she writes him with a girlish personality? I've seen other people make the same comment, so I'm just curious as to the background.
  13. champmanager

    champmanager Member

    Dec 13, 2001
    Alexandria, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Then how do you explain the "magic wand" he reportededly shows to Hermione when the two play doctor in the next book?
  14. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Ever seen two girls play with a dildo?

  15. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    Yeah! Cause this would do wonders for American kids' reading habits...

    By the way, I'm not buying your criticism of her style. Have you really READ Anthony or Dahl since you were 9? After reading HP, I got nostalgiac and so went back to reread L'Engle and C.S. Lewis just to prove how inferior Rowling was to the classics. Oops. She is much wittier and more assured than they were, and her sense of character is much more fully developed.

    A Wrinkle In Time now seems like confused New Agey fluff when put next to Potter. Perhaps Dahl will stand up better.

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