Saturday, September 29, 2012

Banned Books Week - help me sort this out...

The college is really into Banned Books Week. I spent some time reading their display as well as this poster on my literature professor's door:

     I was reading the reasons on this poster and for their purposes I can see why they banned or required parent signature for some of these titles. I'm still not sure what's up with Mary Maclane, but what's the whole push to get kids and young adults to read banned books? We are having a class discussion Monday night on this, but honestly I'm not sure what to think or even how to ask the right question of the presenter to put it all in perspective. Should children and teens have free access to all pieces of literature? In what ways does it benefit the student to seek out a banned book rather than choose from award winners, such as Newberry's? Then there's The Giver - both banned and awarded - I was blown away by this book as an adult but some elementary students may be too sensitive for the book's perspective on the value of life the characters had. I'm not concerned with college students, but as a teacher - how do we approach the topic of banned books?  Should we promote a book just because it's banned ?Even pointing them out as "banned" makes kids want them. What do you think?

And just for fun...



  1. In my 8th grade Pre-Ap english class we are reading "The Giver" and it is banned books week( which ive never heard of, before today) so our teacher found a site that had a bunch of banned books. We discussed why they were banned and yes i can see why but, i believe you actually learn from them. Over the summer i read many teen books that are "banned" at my school. The books i read let me see things totally different from the way teachers have been teaching us or the direction they have been guiding us. I find banned books more interesting and the authors even more interesting. I was intrigued from reading banned book previews and i plan to read from the list i made. One of the books i want to read is "13 reasons why" i didnt read a review but my teacher said it has a teenager that is suicidal and depressed and just had some teen likely problems so i thought i should read it because i can see life from a different teens point of view and see how someone else thinks and feel for the character. Not many kids at my school understand why some teens cut or are suicidal or depressed but if they read they can get a better understanding.

    1. The book 13 Reason's Why is also not allowed in my middle school! I have read this and it is a wonderfully powerful book about many issues I think teenagers need to understand and know about. Many banned books teach lessons and address issues others choose to ignore. I personally think that this is the reason why they are banned. People feel threatened by these viewpoints that may differ from theirs, and so ban the book. I believe book banning is wrong, it is up to the parents of younger children to determine what they can and cannot read and when they get over they should be able to read what they want to. Book banning is a censorship of expression and speech and I believe it is a violation of the Constitution.