Friday Fives | Banned Books

Posted October 2, 2020 by TheNonbinaryLibrarian in friday favorites / 0 Comments

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Today’s topic in honor of banned books week is over some of my favorite books that have been banned. For more information on this, you can go here.

Image from Goodreads

Reasons for Ban: sexual violence, Islamophobia, inspires terrorism, promotes Islam, homosexuality, language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Notable Bans/Challenges: The Kite Runner was notably banned in two locales: Gilbert, Arizona and Fishers, Indiana. Gilbert didn’t undergo a review process, while Fishers did for the book.

Image from Goodreads

Reasons for Ban/Challenge: offensive language

Notable Bans/Challenges: The book was challenged by parents from the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota. They decided to keep the book, as it was relevant, realistic, and powerful. Rainbow Rowell commented on the controversy that “Eleanor and Park themselves almost never swear. . . . I use profanity in the book to show how vulgar and sometimes violent the characters’ worlds are.”

Image from Goodreads

Reason for Ban/Challenge: sexual content

Notable Bans/Challenges: A parent from the Northville school district in Michigan thought Frank’s descriptions of her body “pretty pronographic.” Also, in 1983, the Alabama State Textbook Committee commented that the book was a “real downer.” Because books about and written by Jews in hiding are supposed to be happy?

Image from Goodreads

Reasons for Ban/Challenge: LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; sexual references; conflicting with religious viewpoints and “traditional family structure”

Notable Bans/Challenges: In 2017, Wichita, Kansas school system decided not to have George in district libraries due to language and inappropriateness for young children. The group One Million Moms (psst, it doesn’t have a million moms) contacted Scholastic to have them stop printing the book. Two Oregon School districts decided not to participate in the state’s Battle of the Books program because George was among the titles; no reason was given.

Reasons for Ban/Challenges: vulgarity, obscenity, language, violence, portrayal of Christians, and depictions of firemen

Notable Bans/Challenges: Panama City, Florida remove the books from the classroom. Due to a class-action lawsuit, a media stir, and student protests, the school board abandoned their tier-based censorship and approved the currently approved books. In Irvine, California, the school gave copies to students with all the “obscene” words blacked out. Parents did contact the media and were able to reinstate the uncensored copies (good on these parents). This last one is the most ironic, and of course, it happens in Texas. In 2006, a high school student’s mom in Montgomery, TX demanded the book be banned from the English reading list. The daughter stopped reading a few pages in due to the offensive language and the burning of the Bible. The parents protested the above reasons as well.

Let me know what some of your favorite banned books are below!

Happy Reading Darlings!

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