August 2011 NaBloPoMo: What I Think About Banning Books

“What do you think about the act of banning books?”

I don’t like it.

It’s like freedom of speech! Read whatever books you want! If someone doesn’t want to read a certain book (or if they don’t want their kids to read a certain book), then they just don’t have to read that book or let their kids read it. But I don’t think that a book should be banned just because someone doesn’t like something about it.

I found the ALA’s 100 Most Challenged/Banned 2000-2009 List.

It’s really weird.

OK, I understand that some of the books on that list are a bit violent. I still think people should read them if they want to. But I didn’t understand some of the other books:

That was #71 on the list. A kid’s book? Seriously? I loved that series when I was little. Yes, Junie has a bit of a smart mouth, but I don’t think that’s any reason to ban the books.

These two (#13 and #47, respectively) are definitely juvenile, yet still funny. OK, I don’t find them as funny as I did when I was 10. Someone who wants to ban a book because it has potty humor has too much time on their hands, I think.

Then there’s the books that I can’t understand. #29, above, is about a girl who discovers her photo on a ‘Missing Child’ ad and learns she was adopted. It’s not violent, and it’s not offensive. I’ve read it and thought that it was interesting, but not outstanding. I can’t see why it would be banned.

There are some books that I have a guess as to why they were challenged: When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester (#56), and Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison (#35).

the giverAnd then there are the really good books. The Giver, #23 (I thought it would be higher on the list), is really excellent. It’s one of my top 10 favorite book/series. The writing is really good. It is about a future world where everything is perfect. Except. Um. They kill people. But this book is supposed to make you think. Why would you ban a book that’s supposed to make you think?

This book (#8), and the other two in the series, are also really good. The world they take place in is very cool (literally!) and the writing is very descriptive. From I could find out in an article on Wikipedia, people say it’s anti-Christian. I found an interesting quote from the author:

“I’ve been surprised by how little criticism I’ve got. Harry Potter’s been taking all the flak… Meanwhile, I’ve been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God.”

Speaking of Harry Potter…

Guess what it is? Yes, you’re right, it’s #1!

I love the Harry Potter series for a number of reasons, but I don’t think it ‘encourages readers to practice witchcraft.’ It’s just a story, and I know that. A really good story, but still just a story.

Also, some people claim it’s anti-Christian. It hardly mentions any religion at all. According to the Wikipedia article, there are some Christian allegories in Deathly Hallows, such as one of two quotes that begin the book, and the quote on Harry’s parents’ graves and others’ graves. The article also says that there are parallels between Harry Potter characters and people in the bible.

I think everyone should read these books. OK, maybe not Captain Underpants and Super Diaper Baby, if potty humor isn’t really your thing. If I hadn’t read any banned books, I would probably be very bored. Many (good) books have been challenged at least a few times. I think every book will be complained about.

Yes, these books are controversial, but they’ll make you think. Or, in the case of Junie B. Jones, laugh.

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in Books and Reading!, Harry Potter, NaBloPoMo, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to August 2011 NaBloPoMo: What I Think About Banning Books

  1. avi says:

    hello, I’m Avi, a fellow homeschooler.

  2. Pingback: Some People Have Too Much Time On Their Hands | Musings from Neville's Navel

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