Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Banned Books

This was originally a response to, but it was too long!

of the ALA's most frequenly banned books, I have read:

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

Of these books, the only two I really found disgusting were The Giver and Lord of the Flies. I am not saying they should be banned, though. Lord of the Flies is still and important piece of literature. The Giver should only be assigned for school if the students are mature.

I think all libraries should have a designated teen or young adult section. In my library, my little sister, who is nine, can go and check out books like Are You There God, it's Me, Maragaret, one of the Alice books, or The Face on the Milk Carton. All of these books are fun reads for a 13 or 14 year old girl, but are innapropriate for a nine-year-old. In my library, they have a few of the Alice books in the adult section and a few in the children's section. It seems like they thought about moving them away from younger kids but stopped midway. This is the same for the Princess Diaries series.

No books should be banned for all people. I think some books should be forbidden for kids under 13 or so. Schools should take into consideration the maturity of the students before they choose required reading.

In sixth grade, we had just begun reading Tom Sawyer in English, but we had to stop because it had the "N" word in it. I remember thinking that everyone hears that word several times a day in the hallways! I still haven't gotten around to reading Tom Sawyer though. It has been the only book that I have been banned from reading, and it was because of one lousy word.

Many of the books on the list I have read and loved, or I plan to read. As I look back on the list of books I have read that are frequently banned, there is absolutely nothing wrong with many of them. The rest just have minor things that many people are exposed to anyway.


Ronnica said...

Looks like we're on the same page. And you should definitely check out Tom Sawyer again!

What A Card said...

Definitely give Tom Sawyer a go. It's funny! And I can't believe your school pulled it for sixth graders. I guess I could see it for younger kids, who might not understand, but by sixth grade, I think everyone is capable of understanding it's not a word that's okay to use now.

I loved The Giver. I almost recommended it to a mature fifth grader when I was student teaching, but then I chickened out. I figure it's probably a better book to be suggested by a parent!