Banned Book Week

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:

  1. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
    Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
  2. The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence
  3. “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
    Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language
  4. “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: Religious Viewpoint
  5. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
    Reasons: Racism
  6. “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
    Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language
  7. “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
  8. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
    Reasons: Sexually Explicit
  9. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
    Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit
  10. “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?

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0 Responses to Banned Book Week

  1. JimmyDean'sFuckedUpCousinClyde says:

    Slightly restrictive, but in a more visual way. Books are obtained by memoriam trusts and the families can recommend. Explicit photos are least likely to pass muster. Since no one can read anymore, printed works aren’t considered as risque.
    But not a copy of Maplethorpe to be found.
    The other ones mentioned are available.


  2. raceynora says:

    I got a suggestion folks – if the subject matter of a book offends you, DO NOT READ THE BOOK! There – problem solved.


  3. willis says:

    Ok, that tears it. If I can’t go to the library to get internet porn, I’m burning my library card.


  4. liberaldemdave says:

    my hamlet ain’t got no stinkin’ lieberry.


  5. Batocchio says:

    Cheers! That’s a real cool story about Powell’s. I’ll add this post to a list for a roundup…


  6. Freida Bee says:

    Oh, my biggest dream in life is to write a book that will make such a list. I’d best get to work!