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September 25, 2013 / Angela Sylvia

Banned Books Week Again

This week is Banned Books Week, one of my favorite times of year since it gives me a chance to add some new books to my To-Read list (seriously). Every year the ALA posts a short list of the most frequently banned books of the year, and it’s fun, and frustrating, to go through and see what was challenged, and also why.

The Absolutely True Diaray of a Part-Time IndianThe Guardian has already point out that a lot of young adult literature is on the banned list this year, like The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (awesome) and Feed (also awesome). While sometimes I understand that reasons why a parent wouldn’t want their particular child to read a particular book (I read A Child Called It in middle school to, and that messed me up for a while) it’s obnoxious and overbearing when they try to enforce that point of view on everyone else’s kids, or on all the other adults (Fifty Shades of Grey nonsense made the list because some libraries think it’s just too icky). And even then, some of their reasons for wanting to keep their kids away from it — sex, swear words (seriously, swear words? You hear the F-word more on the bus ride to school than in any one of those books) — are so closed-minded, and also seem to just guarantee you’re raising a kid who will have no idea how anything in the world works.

Anyway. Here are some books from the list that I love, and some that I totally want to read now.

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Banned because of swears, and mentions of masturbation, and…racism? Seriously? No kidding, that’s one of the points of the book.
  • Feed. Again, F-word. Screw that school, F-ing read this book.
  • Ender’s Game. Apparently a teacher almost faced criminal charges for reading this “pornographic” book.
  • Looking for Alaska. Don’t you DARE ban John Green.
  • Tintin in the Congo. This is a case where I get it, because I’ve read about this volume and it sounds super racist. But, I still want to read the Tintin comics…
  • And Tango Makes Three. Gay penguins! Why would you ban that???
  • Persepolis. I love this book. It’s incensing that they tried to ban it, but inspiring that the kids got it back. Plus, maybe if children learn now that people from the Middle-East are also human beings, maybe we’ll have a few less nutters when they grow up.
  • Robopocolypse. Again, swearing. Again, do you really think your kid doesn’t know how to swear by now?
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