Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Contest and a Scoop

New & Noteworthy
, The West Hempstead Public Library's Weblog is holding an essay contest on freedom to read. The age categories are: 5-12 years old, 13-17 years old, 18+ years old. The question is, "Which book have you enjoyed that makes you appreciate the freedom to read?" Check their weblog for more details.

Here's the scoop on a couple of graphic novels that had been challenged. "On March 14, 2007, the Marshall Public Library Board of Trustees voted to return both Fun Home and Blankets to the library's shelves." The books had been removed until the board could hammer out a new material selection policy, according to a story in the Marshall Democrat-News.

As for our banned book challenge, I will publish as many book entries for your completed titles as I can. It is interesting to read what people have written about their completed books. Check the comments on this entry for the first batch. I am surprised by the number of similar titles.

1 comment:

fahrenheit451moderator said...

Sandi, USA
Bridge to Terabithia
Because of the death of a central character, a child, and because of the infrequent use of curse words. And possibly because Leslie referred to "Spirits" in the woods.
This book is deeply moving; its a wonderful coming-of-age story, and anyone who would try to ban it should be ashamed. I cried through the last 20 pages, even though I knew what was going to happen.

vickiebarker, USA
Catcher in the Rye
sex, foul language

vickiebarker, USA
Different Seasons
foul language

sayonion, USA
Because of its (mostly offhand) treatment of sexual things? Was it banned right when it came out -- it wasnt banned because its antiwar, was it? Anyhooble, I liked it very much. :)

Fattygurl4u2NV23, USA
Flowers in the Attic
The taboo themes of incest and pre-marital sex.

Linus1219, USA
It does have quite a few vivid scenes containing violence, although those scenes (the fight scene at the end) didn't seem as violent as what I've seen put on prime-time television or movies rated for children of the same age as this book's intended audience.
It's definitely a dark tale and it doesn't have the nice wrapped up happy ending, but that's what I like about it. Its an honest depiction of adolescence and the cruelty that sometimes exists in the world. I think it's the honesty of it all that has helped it endure because adolescents respond to that and to an author who doesn't talk down to them.

Canuck Librarian, Canada
Handmaids Tale

koenigcw, USA
Slaughterhouse Five

koenigcw, USA
Flowers in the Attic

Bridge to Terabithia
I thought the book was challenge/banned because death is a subject matter but I started reading about it online and found one listing that it was challenged because of the magic kingdom idea - the person didn't like the "witch craft" idea of the book. To be honest - that had never crossed my mind as the reason.

Kim W.
The Watchmen
Probably two reasons -- the fact that its a "graphic novel", and thus its "not important," and the fact that it has some nudity and sex and violence. Strange that many other graphic novels also have these but aren't banned themselves; only the one that is elevated to the status of "serious novel" has taken this heat. Don't know why the graphic stuff is okay if its a "not so serious" reading form.

Elaine, Canada
So Far From the Bamboo Grove
I have already read a lot about why this book was challenged. The challenge concerned a short, non-graphic description of a rape. The challenge has been picked up by by people of Korean descent who believe the book unfairly depicts the Japanese as the victims when they were the occupiers of Korea. I found the book was harsh towards Korean Communist soldiers but depicted other Koreans, especially the family who hid and sheltered the author's brother in a very sympathetic light.

jfreeman99, USA
Of Mice and Men
It is hard for me to believe that this book was challenged but my first guess would be for the use of the "n" word when referring to the stable buck. The use of that slur doesn't seem necessary because it is simply the narrators usage not one of the characters so it isn't needed to create the time period or to create situational anger. When discussing it with younger colleagues they wondered if it is challenged because of the friendship between the two men.

Sleepless Mama, USA
The Face on the Milk Carton
Oddly enough, this book seems to have been banned for depiction of sexual relations that never actually take place. The main character, 15-year-old Janie, who believes she was kidnapped as a child, falls in love with the boy next door, Reeve, as part of a subplot. Reeve and Janie quickly progress to from kissing to wanting to have sex, and even go so far as to get a motel room, but they never actually do it. Janie simply isn't ready. Reeve, it should be noted, does seem to be pressuring her to have sex, just like most boys, but he never forces more physical attention on her than she consents to.

Katelyn P., Canada
Go Ask Alice
I am so unsure of why this book has been banned, that I would like the people that banned the book tell me why. This book is not only educational for teenagers but also for parents. What she goes through is scary, and for any teenager who has read the book and has thought about doing drugs has probably changed their mind. Parents can also learn things from the book. Their children may be going through what she did, and they can help their children before they turn to drugs.

However, this book is most certainly not for younger children, because of the drug use and references. In my opinion, this book should be read by every person over the age of 12!!

Katelyn P., Canada
The Diary of a Young Girl
Why was this book tell me. I think this book is a story that should be shared with everyone. Anne Franks story is unique, in the sense that she was a young child who had her life turned upside down, and yet she still recorded what was happening to her. As she was growing up, she realized how scary the world around her had become. This book allows readers to see how scary life was before and during WWII. In my opinion, this book should not have been banned at all, but yet taken advantage of for its historical content. This is one of the best primary sources a student could use for a historical essay.

Angry Mother in Michigan, USA
Fahrenheit 451
Wow, how ironic is it that they challenge this book? The people who challenge Fahrenheit only succeed in making themselves look foolish since this book is about banning/burning books...

Katelyn P., Canada
Brokeback Mountain
I think this book was banned because of its sexual content and reference. If the book was intended for children, then I think that it has inappropriate themes and should have been banned from schools. However, I do not think that the book was intended for young children, and therefore it should be up to the reader if they want to read the book or not, it should not be up to other people to ban the book.

Linus1219, USA
Bridge to Terabithia
I would think it was because of the death of a child, but from what I've read it was mainly because of the "witchcraft" element. (Kind of like with Harry Potter) But what I find so interesting is that although the movie that has just come out based on this book deals mainly with the fantasy aspect to this novel, the fantasy world that Leslie and Jess create in the woods is really not the focus of the book. We know that it's important and strengthens their relationship, but there really aren't too many scenes involving them spending time in the woods pretending to be a kind and queen of a mystical land.
I hate it when people don't even have good challenges :)

Diane, USA
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
So, why would this inspiring story be a banned book? Maya does not shy away from the views of prejudice in this book. She is open and honest about the ways prejudice affected her world. Also, there are very frank descriptions of a childhood rape and of her discovery of womanhood in the story. I sadly feel this could challenge some peoples decision to allow the book on the shelves of their libraries.
See my brief review in my blog at:

Sleepless Mama, USA
I have absolutely no clue why this book would have been banned. The only possible objectionable content, other than scenes too scary for small children, would be mentions of God and Jesus. Still, I don't see how a mention of Jesus would be ban-worthy when a mention of Buddha as equally important is present a few sentences later. I can only assume this has something to do with separation of church and state, but that seems silly for a sci-fi book for kids. Perhaps the book was simply too frightening for children younger than 10.

Katelyn P., Canada
Bad Girlz
I think that this book was challenged for many reasons. The subject of the book is not the best for most children. Because the book was classified under young adult, I feel that that was the main reason for why it was challenged. The subject matter of the book, money, sex, and illegal activities, may be seen as inappropriate for young readers. If the book was reclassified as a book for adults, maybe the challenge would be reconsidered.