Banned books week fast approaches: September 23-29, 20118.
Come to the library to see which books have a history of being challenged or flat out banned in other schools...but not ours!
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya has a disturbing story behind the banning. Not only was this book challenged and banned, it was literally burned. A Utah school administration pulled all copies of the book from a public school classroom and from the library. The books were handed over to parents who tossed the books onto the flames. When asked why the books simply were not donated elsewhere, the administrator said that Bless Me, Ultima should not be in any child’s hands. ISD has a copy. Come and check it out! Seriously, it won’t hex you.
Reason for Challenge and Ban: witchcraft.
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss simply wants to save trees. Logging communities in the north west of America, (Washington and Oregon to be exact), challenged the book’s presence in local school libraries. But ISD has a copy. Come and read it to your child!
Reason for Challenge: Still scratching my head on this one. It’s anti-logging?
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell is in the ISD collection. This picture book offers families the opportunity to discuss what makes a family.
Reason for Challenge: homosexuality.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins burst onto the literary scene and quickly moved to the big screen. Katniss Everdeen lives in a world destroyed by the adults who came before her. This dystopian novel forces children to battle to the death to save their communities.
Reason for Challenge: violence and death.
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl has been challenged and banned in several locations across the United States.
Reason for Challenge: use of the word “ass” and references to alcohol and tobacco use.
Little Red Riding Hood features a girl on her way to her grandmother’s house. She travels alone through the woods. This cautionary tale reads quite scandalously. She does, after all, get in bed with her grandmother, the wolf in disguise. Red’s scandalous behavior does not shock California readers though. It is the fact that Little Red carries a bottle of red wine in her basket that troubles public school parents. It was challenged and banned.
Reason for Challenge: references to alcohol.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is continuously on a banned book list somewhere in America. A kid from the Spokane Reservation leaves the rez to go to public school. His adventures include a lot of basketball, making friends, and holding on to his culture.
Reason for Challenge: sexuality and use of “bad” words.
The ISD library holds all of these books in its collection. The upcoming Banned Books Week gives the ISD community the opportunity to tackle censorship and the dangers of pulling books from the shelf. Censorship is anathema to librarians. Rather, more reading, more books, and an expanded conversation should be the solution to censorship. Come into the library and see if your favorite book has a history of being challenged, banned, or even burned. If you would like to read it again, feel free to check it out!