Our good Scissorhead Batocchio reminded me a few weeks ago that Banned Book Week was coming soon, and look! It’s here!
With Mooselini’s sudden rise to a position of power, and her record for wanting to ban books in her little village of Wasilla, the topic could not be more in the headlines.
I remember some years ago visiting the amazing Powell’s Books in Portland Oregon during banned books week. They had cleverly put a wrapper around all the books in the store that had at one time been banned, books by authors who had been banned, books on topics that had been banned. It was hard to look at any shelf without finding a book that was at one time banned or even currently being considered for being banned. It was a very powerful demonstration of what potentially could have happened, or could happen. Again.
Here’s a list of books that were challenged in 2007:
- “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
- The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence
- “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language
- “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint
- “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
- “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language
- “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
- “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit
- “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit
- “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
Currently, the San José Library is in a fight with the Xristian Xrazies fundies, who want to either ban internet access at the library or filter it through a NetNanny system. So even here, in the heart of Silicon Valley, in what is probably the most liberal section of the United States, and in the 10th largest city in the country, we have to be ever-vigilent to keep the nincompoops and pontificating poltroons from censoring our thoughts, limiting our imaginations, and preventing us from learning things that they object to.
How are things in your town?