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05 October 2012

My favorite banned book

As you probably know, this week is Banned Book Week (September 30-October 6).  I've been thinking all week about what I could post about and have been pretty stumped.  So, I figured I'd write about my favorite banned book----To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

My first thought when reading the list was, "What the heck!  Why is TKAM on here?".  My second thought was, "Wow, a lot of these books were books that I had assigned to me in high school to read.  Dang, I could have fought against some!"....I'm looking at you, Gatsby.....

So, I looked at the reasons why TKAM was banned/challenged, and most of them are for language used in the book (racial slurs, profanity, etc).  I can understand that, there are some words that aren't acceptable now that were used back then. 

But my favorite reason was because "A resident had objected to the novel’s depiction of how blacks are treated by members of a racist white community in an Alabama town during the Depression."  And that they were afraid that the book would scare black children reading it.  I'm sorry, did you want it sugar coated?  Don't you want a realistic depiction of how people were treated then?  And wouldn't the teacher introduce the book and explain the situation?  I know I wouldn't just toss a book like TKAM into a classroom and expect kids to "get it" without any sort of explanation. 

I have a friend in HS who is reading TKAM right now.  He's a good kid, but doesn't like reading (and we're still friends!)  He told me it was one of the best books he's ever read.  I'm so happy that he was able to read TKAM, enjoy it, and hopefully it will lead him to other books. 

I guess what I'm trying to get at is, you may not like something about a book.  That's fine.  Don't read it.  That is your perogotive.  But don't tell me what I can and cannot read.  That isn't your job.  I'm a big girl, I can make my own choices.  And frankly, if you tell me NOT to do something, I'm more likely to do it. 


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  2. What I find scary, is why books are banned. I understand the concerns of school libraries and as a parent I would have some concerns about my children reading 50 Shades of Grey (primarliy cause its a poorly written penthouse forum letter that degrades the idea of a strong femine character). But what concerns me more is books are more often banned for offensive language and sexually explicit themes, then for violent themes. I think George Carlin said it best "there are no bad words," there bad intentions which words facilitate but when it comes to the minds of children I think I would prefer them to read the work "Fuck", or even a well written (probably not hardcore) description of the act, then to have them read about violence. Same goes with movies and television. I'd rather my kids be exposed to quality written and acting with profanity, then graphic depictions of violence.

    Now where's my gold star.

  3. P.S. To Kill a Mockingbird and 1984 two of my favorites.


Gold stars given to good comments.