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So Read a Book September 28, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff.

I don’t really have any exciting food things today – I don’t know, I guess  with all the excitement of  the Boy‘s being home (although I’ve barely seen him), on top of the thrill of the Big Baby‘s actually being pain-free for a change. . .  it’s been kind of hard to focus, I guess, on the mundane.

But here’s something interesting – this week is the American Library Association’s observance of Banned Books Week – and while I understand, in some cases, the propriety of keeping certain reading materials out of school libraries (I’m a mom – I STILL want to protect my little boy from certain, um  . . . elements), I just don’t understand why,  here in the TWENTY-FIRST century, there’s still an issue with some literature.

In honor of the week, the Huffington Post has published its list of 15 iconic movies based on banned books – and I’m going to admit – I’ve read or seen a few of them.  And, I also need to admit, only a few.

I remember, when I was a kid, round about 6th grade, I, along with three other girls, was in an “advanced” reading class – we were basically given free rein to read whatever we wanted while the rest of the class struggled with . . . I don’t know, Dick and Jane?

It was only a matter of time until I stumbled upon something, well, inappropriate.  In my case, it was The Godfather.  I remember bringing that book home, and I remember my parents – both of them – having a HISSY FIT!

Since I had barely even cracked the cover of the book before it was summarily taken away from me, I had no idea what the big deal was  . . . to this day, I still haven’t read the novel (though I’ve seen the movie).   And I’m still not sure what the big hairy deal was.

While many of the books on this list have since been un-banned, it’s still got to make a person stop and think, doesn’t it?

I mean, how sad would it be to NOT have a childhood that included Willie Wonka?  Oh yes, that was on the banned books list – back in 1988, some librarian thought this story espoused a “poor philosophy of life.”

And what about To Kill A Mockingbird?

Banning THAT book?  Really? I’m sorry, but that’s just wrong.

See, here’s the thing.

Sure, maybe there are books that are less appropriate for children (Anne Rice’s Beauty novels come to mind), but sometimes, I think we – and they – need to understand history as it happened (as in Anne Frank’s diary).  And if it’s ugly, or graphic, well, that’s kind of the way life sometimes is, isn’t it?

So tell me – how many – if any – of these so-called “banned books” have you read (or movies have you seen)?

Would you allow your children to read them?

Why or why not?



1. mazco34 - September 28, 2010

I read all or parts of 8 of the books listed.

I saw 6 of the movies based on the books.

Only 3 (Huck Finn, Lolita and Catch-22) did I do both.

You, Maz, are indeed a rebel. 😉

2. judy - September 28, 2010

Very interesting topic. I have also read some and seen other film versions. I don’t believe I was scarred for life.

The really sad thing is that so many people are so afraid that others might actually think for themselves!

3. Anne - September 28, 2010

Catcher in the Rye is the only one I know I’ve read, and that was in school. But this gives me lots of new ideas. 😉

I’ll be honest – most of the “banned books” I’ve read have kind of left me cold. I mean. . . I probably wouldn’t have read them except that someone, somewhere kicked up a fuss. 😕

4. sjbraun - September 29, 2010

It *is* interesting! I’m about as conservative/Christian as they come, yet I’ve read all manner of subversive books, and went to a pretty darn liberal university. I don’t really monitor the girls’ reading, either. I guess I feel like if you know your beliefs and are firm in them, you’re probably safe reading something with another viewpoint.

Exactly! I read a quote somewhere a while back – “opinions should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it” or something like that.

You can’t actually form your own opinions unless you take the time to see other viewpoints! And frankly, there’s just something about “forbidden fruit” that makes things appealing that otherwise wouldn’t be.

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