Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book News: Banned Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of the Last Two Decades - Because I feel like Ranting...

As an adult I sometimes forget that schools in the U.S. can an actually ban books in their libraries. I'll admit I'm not a Twilight fan but it was a little shocking to see it among the list. 
(Isn't Twilight mostly a preteen to teen thing?)

I was also shocked and slightly appalled to see literary classics like 1984 by George Orwell, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien on the list.

The Lord of the Rings!?! Seriously!?! 

When a high school in Missouri recently banned Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut's story of World War II as told through a science fiction lens, for creating "falseconceptions of American history and government," the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library stepped up to donate copies of the book to any affected student that requests it.
Click here to read the article: http://geeksu.gr/18673159

You'll have to read the article to really get the gist of my frustration but I honestly don't get the logic behind banning some of these, if not all. I guess parents have to say to themselves at what point does this become ridiculous? 
Banning childrens' books because they contain witches and vampires and wizards?! Good lord... 

As a child, I enjoyed books that dabbled in magic, vampires and wizards (Darren Shan's--Cirque Du Freaks, anyone?) and I honestly think I'm all the better for it. Those were the books that really pulled me into the wonderful world of reading and helped make me the person I am today. 

I have my moments, but overall, I think I'm a pretty well rounded, somewhat normal adult who doesn't feel the need to worship satan despite the fact that I read books about vampires, played with Pokemon cards and watched Goosebumps on TV.
Click on this link to view a complete list of banned and most frequently challenged books, click here.

What do you think? Should certain novels and literary classics be banned from libraries just because they may contain themes that could potentially be offensive to some readers?


  1. Wow, Twilight's banned?... I'd love if the Twilight books could evaporate from the planet and never, ever exist again - but why ban them? Are teachers just that sick of hearing tween girls ooze over Edward?

    Seems like overkill. Especially considering the books that kids DO have to read. When I was in high school, we had to read two books by two different authors, both with rape scenes - one rape scene vague, the other explicit. One of my friends from a different school had a required reading assignment that was completely sordid - explicit writing about incest and prostitution.

    I find it interesting that these kinds of bans attempt to keep from offending certain people (even though nobody has a right to not be offended), but at the same time, books they do stock in school libraries usually push an agenda. Also, funny that 1984 is banned. Who does 1984 offend, I wonder...?

  2. Thanks for the comment!

    I thought the exact same thing. I couldn't BELIEVE 1984 was on that list. That in itself seems like a crime against literature.

    It seems senseless to me. I remember reading to Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm, and The Color Purple in school. Those books deal with situations of racism, tyranny and rape and yet I feel all the better for having read them.

    At some point in their lives children will be exposed to these situations (For goodness sake, just turn on the evening news or read the paper...)

    I would think that parents could see the harm in just pretending that these types of things don't exist. It's just absolutely mind-boggling to me.



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