Even though it's not banned books week, the issue of censorship is ever-present, and while going through the list, we found those that didn't surprise us (Howard Stern's "Private Parts," "The New Joy of Gay Sex," Judy Blume's "Are You There, God?
|Scooped by Mary Glynn|
This article presents a slideshow about 11 of the most surprising banned books. The article shows the cover of each of the 11 books, as well as a brief description about the book and why it has been banned.
I was looking for articles on banned books for my Children's Literature class when I stumbled upon this article from the Huffington Post. I could not believe some of the books that were on this list. For example, the first book of the slideshow is the dictionary. Yes, the Merriam Webster Dictionary!!! It has been banned from a school in California for its defintion of oral sex. I could not believe that the dictionary was banned from a school. I mean I guess children could look up bad words in it, but I cannot remember a single classmate of mine growing up who said, "Hey, let's go look up bad words in the dictionary." In fact, the only time anyone used the dictionary in class was when a student did not know the meaning of a word and the teacher said, "Look it up." Other than that, the dictionary sat in the classroom library gathering dust. I could not believe that someone actually protested having the dictionary in the classroom.
Another shocking book on the list is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? I LOVED this book growing up. It was one of my favorites and I read it to my parents many times, and I can guarentee you there is nothing inappropriate within the pages of this book. In fact, the reason it was banned was not for its content, but rather the author's name. Apparently the author has the same name as a Marxist theorist, but the Texas Board of Education (the group of people that banned the children's book) did not check to see if it was the same person. They just decided to ban it anyway. This is one reason why I am against censorship. There is nothing wrong with this book, and the Texas Board agrees with this. It is a book about different animals. So why are you banning it? Because of the author's name!?? I highly doubt that the children reading this book are going to think about the author and his beliefs. They just want to read about animals and look at the colorful pages of the book. People are ridding children of amazing and enjoyable books over nothing, and it annoys me. A LOT.
I think that a lot of the books that have been banned and continue to be censored are because there are people out there looking for mistakes and reasons that do not exist. I do not think people realize the consequences of their actions when they censor books. They need to know that many children will miss out on the laughs, the smiles, and the joy that comes from reading these books. They are taking away an author's purpose in life and preventing their stories from touching the lives of tons of children. Like the authors in the Penguin Books video said, "Free speech matters." These books are so much more than words on a page, and people need to realize that. People need to stop censoring books, so children can get the laughs, smiles, and joy that comes from reading a book.