Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Book Chat: Banned Books

I am pretty darn disappointed in myself right now. I was so excited to blog about banned books for Jessica's Book Chat link-up this week, and now it's almost 10 p.m. and I haven't prepared anything. I really couldn't miss such an important topic, though, so here's just a small handful of banned or challenged books I've read and loved (click on the book covers to see my reviews on Goodreads):

I am a firm believer that banned books = banned ideas. I think the idea of school districts banning books is ridiculous. If a particular parent doesn't want his or her child to read a book, fine; give them an alternate assignment. But don't punish the whole class by limiting their exposure to new ideas. If it were my (far-in-the-future) child, I say I'd rather have them be introduced to "controversial" ideas (like women in authority ... seriously! see #6 on this list) in the classroom where they can participate in academic discussions, and where I can know what they're reading and have my own conversations with them about the subject matter if I feel it's necessary.

How do you feel about the idea of "banning" books? Have you read any banned or challenged books that you particularly enjoyed?


P.S. — Don't forget: There are still a few days left for my #bookphotoaday challenge on Instagram! I'd love to see your photos!


  1. Just to play Devils's Advocate... what if your 12 year old came home with a copy of 50 Shades?

  2. I didn't even know some of these were banned, it seems so silly to me!

  3. I don't think all books which are not intended for 12 year olds should be banned. Parents need to learn the power of books and pay attention to what their kids read. If a book has an idea a parent dislikes, they can ban it from their child, but it should not be banned from everyone.

    I don't think any of the books above have a reason to be banned, especially Hunger Games and Harry Potter.

  4. I agree banning books from a whole class, or a whole community (library bans!) is awful. I can understand parent wanting to supervise a little, so little Katie doesn't end up reading 50 shades or something, but exposure to new ideas is what makes us grow and become more intelligent and all that good stuff :)

  5. I didn't know The Lovely Bones was a banned book. I read that a few years ago. It was good but really sad and kind of creepy.

  6. Great selection! I haven't read them all but the ones that I do know are such important reads for children, and adults as well.

  7. the only book on this list that i think maybe should be banned is the lovely bones. i was in high school when i read it and it was pretty hard for me to read some parts.

  8. I guess I have mixed feelings on banned books. Banned by the government?? No Bueno. Definitely an banning of ideas and discouraging your citizens to think for themselves. That's not cool.
    However, when it comes to school reading, I do think that there are some books that just aren't appropriate for certain age groups. Does that mean that book isn't allowed on school grounds AT ALL? Absolutely not. It also doesn't mean that one parent's level of discomfort punishes the whole class, so long as the teacher allows an alternate assignment as you suggested. I do think, though, that if a majority of parents object to the book and the school refuses to change its position, that it's another form of dictating the ideas your citizens/students should embrace and throw away.
    I believe new ideas are great for discussions and challenging the ways you look at things. But just because they're "new" doesn't mean they're necessarily bad . . . or good. It's just "new." They shouldn't be shunned--they should be explored, considered, and THEN let the verdict fall. Sometimes, kids are able to handle those ideas at a young age. Other times, it would probably be best to wait until they were a little more mature. While I have no issue with my kid reading something like Harry Potter, I might have a problem if my twelve-year-old had an assigned reading of Lolita . . . .

  9. You know, I didn't realize Looking for Alaska was a banned book until this week, so now I'm definitely going to have to read it. I've pretty much read all of these others you've listed except for Ender's Game and The Golden Compass. I'm not sure that I ever read The Giver, either, which is a travesty. I read its sequel, though, and loved it. Don't ask me how I got to the sequel without first reading The Giver.


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