Banned Books Week 2010

Tomorrow starts the 29th Banned Books Week that runs through October 2nd. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the freedom to read and celebrate the freedom with our children. Whatever we choose to think, read, or write, intellectual freedom is one of the most important freedoms we have.

Banned Books Week 2010

What is a banned book?

Books to which free access is not permitted. The practice of banning books is a form of censorship, and often has political, religious or moral motivations. Books usually are challenged with the best intentions—to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information. In the past decade more than 4300 books have been challenged, primarily by parents.

Why do people ban books?

I have no idea. People have every right to disagree with the ideas, but to not allow others to make the choice for themselves goes against the core values of this country. Thankfully we have lots more people working to keep our freedoms intact. Of course that does not mean that children of all ages should read these books, but that should be a decision left to the parents.

Some of the reasons for ban have been absolutely ridiculous. The Diary of Anne Frank was banned because it was too sad. To Kill A Mockingbird was banned because it of racism and offensive language. Strega Nona was banned because of its “supernatural content”. Are these valid reasons to restrict access to these books by all?

Children’s and Young Adult’s Books that have been challenged or banned at one time or another:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory also by Roald Dahl
Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
Because of Winn Dixie by Katie DiCamillo
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
1984 by George Orwell
All of the Harry Potter Books by J.K. Rowling
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
The Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Challenged Children’s Books from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a much more comprehensive list.

What is your favorite book that has been banned?

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Banned Books Week 2010 — 6 Comments

  1. Harriet the Spy is still one of my favorite books of all time, to this day. I just gave my 11 year old daughter the copy I bought at a book fair when I was 11.

  2. The Little House books are a fave around here.

    What was wrong with Tales of a 4th grade nothing?

    I'd like to see a list that said WHY the books were banned.

    Wow! This list amazes me.

    I think I'll go totally wild and rebellious and read The Giving Tree AND The Lorax to my kids tonight!!

  3. I'm so sad to see some of our favorites on this list like Charlotte's Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Little Women, I could go on. And I remember Flowers for Algernon making me cry when I read it in high school. These are classics.

    I'm going to share this story with my son tomorrow – I think it'll help him appreciate these wonderful stories even more.

  4. C Lo- I love giving the kids books that I have kept since childhood. It is just a little more magical. Of course, my son is more interested in the books my husband kept. ;)

    Grace- Apparently 'Tales of the 4th Grade Nothing' was challenged because of the dead turtle. You can check out why books are/were banned by checking out "Hit List For Children 2: Frequently Challenged Books" or "Banned Books Week Resource Guide" from the library.

    Gina- It is so sad to see such amazing works on this list and know that people have been restricted access to them. Let me know what you and your son read!

  5. I just want to applaud you for this post – thanks for bringing up such an interesting and important topic. It's shocking to read how many classic and wonderful children's books have at one point been banned, restricted, challenged! It's disturbing, to say the least.


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