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Category Archives: Banned

My Favorite Hugs and Chocolate Posts

Sometimes, a hug is all what we need – Jesslee Cuizon

What a good year it’s been over here! I though that the best way for me to end off things would be to share a few of the post by the wonderful ladies I share this blog with. If any of the links go to places they shouldn’t, please let me know.

It’s been such a pleasure getting to know all of you this year. I’m giving all of you big virtual bear hugs. I can’t wait to see what next year will bring us.

It’s been an honor, ladies and gentlemen.

Jamie Raintree

My Romance With Writing

Who Cares About Writers?

Instruction Manual for a Full-Time Writer

Why Character Archetypes Aren’t Just About Commercialism

Why I Heart Scrivener for Outlining

How to NaNoWriMo During Thanksgiving

Tonia Marie Houston

Bring Your Shovel

St. Patrick and the Writer’s Trinity

Gift Ideas for the Writer in Your Life

33 And It Feels Divine

Give Your Characters Quirk

Synopsis Fundamentals

Heather L Reid

Learn to Love Writing Queries

Dream Big and Never Give Up: How I Landed a 2 Book Publishing Deal

The Third Perspective: Why I Love Third Person Narrative

The First Editorial Letter: Let the Revisions Begin… Again

Riding the Revision Coaster: Completing My 30 Day Deadline

Rebecca Fields

What If…

Luck of the Irish?

The Magic of Fairy Tales

A World of Ideas

Pardon Me, Social Media

Read A (Banned) Book

Courtney Koschel

Filtering Filter Words in Your Writing

Questions to ask When Hiring an Editor

I Suck Syndrome: Recognize it and Beat it

Giving and Getting the Most Out of Critiques

Common Comma Issues

Manuscript Formatting

Jani Grey

Support from the obvious places

Need a little motivation or inspiration? I have some of that for you

Personal Perspective: Why I write 1st person POV

Let me tell you why you’re a winner

The Small Things

Why the subject of your blog post is so very important

Guest Posts

Visualize Your Way to Success: Guest Post by Vaughn Roycroft

DIY Editing and Proofreading Part 1 with Karen S. Elliot

Editing, Proofreading, and a Contest with Karen S. Elliot

Pants on Fire: Guest Post by Laura Long

Guest Post by Brian Taylor: Take a Walk… On a Tightrope: One Writer’s Journey

I’ll see you next year. Have a happy and safe new year!

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Read A (Banned) Book

September 30 – October 6 (Source: ala.org)

I have an addiction. I love reading banned books. There. I said it aloud. How did this start? A few years ago there was a big uproar about a book that had been released and was being made into a movie. I remember watching the news and seeing one mother in particular. Her face was flushed and her voice was high with righteous indignation. She said this book should be burned and no school should be allowed to hold within its walls the dangers this book taught. She went on to say, as her voice got higher, that if this book wasn’t stopped, then there were going to be roving bands of witches overtaking the schools and witchcraft being practiced on a daily basis. The book? Harry Potter.

That day I went to Barnes and Noble and bought every book in the series that had been written at that point in time. I read them and fell head over heels in love. I still read those books. I have them in hardcover and some in paperback. I own every movie. I’m still amazed at the beauty J.K. Rowling put into those books. They’re truly magical.

What is it that causes books to be banned? Should certain books be banned? If so, who decides who can read them and who can’t? According to the American Library Association, here are the top ten books that were most frequently challenged and why in 2011:

Out of 326 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism

(Source and link: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/top-ten-most-frequently-challenged-books-2011)

As you can see, the books have a variety of reasons why people may not like them. However, does that give anyone the right to demand a library or school not have the book on the premises? I have a hard time with this for several reasons. I go back and forth with this in my head. Here’s my argument, both sides.

As a parent, I feel it’s my job to decide what is appropriate for my child to read. He’s read The Hunger Games and To Kill A Mockingbird. We had long discussions after he read each one. He had a hard time understanding the racism in To Kill A Mockingbird, he couldn’t understand the hatred and fear set off by the color of a person’s skin. As for The Hunger Games, that spurred a huge soapbox event by me about why I despise reality television. I asked him how far away are we from a society where this could be a possibility. Those were really interesting conversations.

As a reader I just hate the idea of someone telling me what I’m allowed to read. After reading the Harry Potter books, seeing the movies, dressing like Harry for Halloween, walking around saying the spells – I’m not a witch (darn it) and my son isn’t a wizard. He was quite disappointed that he never received a letter of acceptance to Hogwarts.

The flip side of this argument is this. In 2010 someone self published a book on Amazon called, The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct. Do I believe this title should be banned? Absolutely. This is an extreme example, I know. To me, this book could harm a child physically and emotionally. Yet, to the woman I mentioned in the first paragraph – that’s what she was convinced the Harry Potter books would do – on a different level. There was a lot of controversy about this title and people boycotted Amazon until they removed it. Some people, who didn’t agree with the title or the content, defended the author’s right to free speech. It would seem like common sense not to write a book like this, but the line between common sense and free speech is often very murky.

Where do you stand on banned books? Do you read them? How would you feel if your book made it onto the list?

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Banned, Books

 

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