In case you haven't heard, in the past week J.D. Salinger passed away at the age of 91. I was reading a small article about Salinger and at the end was an external link they led me to a list of banned books. This got me thinking about how stupid banning books is. In honor of Salinger and all writers who at some point got their books banned or challenged, I'm going to put some of the books that I've read and why it is banned, unless I honestly don't know or can't find out why.
First of all, not a book I've read necessarily, but the American Heritage Dictionary was banned for containing 39 "objectionable" words. I don't think I really need to elaborate how stupid that is.
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was banned because of language and, see if you can understand this, sexuality. Mostly because there's a scene with a prostitute. What these people fail to see is that Holden did nothing with the prostitute because he felt uncomfortable. Of course, we don't want to give children ideas. . .
Another J.D. Salinger book that was banned was Franny and Zooey. I couldn't find out why this was banned, but it deals with religion and some people may not find that very good.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman was banned because it was considered to be anti-religious. Of course, it was written by an atheist, so they makes a modicum of sense. Also, I feel these people should know that I am religious and this book hasn't affected my religion at all. It's a shame that these people's religion is so shaky that a little book threatens it.
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling was banned, of course, because it taught devil-worship to kids. While that may be a bit more harsh than most people put it, it's banned because it contains magic. Either way, it's a pretty stupid reason to ban a book.
Fahrenheit 451 by Rad Bradbury was a book that was about book banning and was banned because of language. Sure it was. I think it was because the book promoted free thinking (In case you haven't read the book, Fahrenheit 451 is a book about a society where books are banned to stop free thinking.) The ultimate irony in one instance: a book about book banning being banned.
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, as far as I know, was banned because it contains violence, language, and disobedience towards adults. Now, I haven't read this book, though I have seen the movie (I realize that that does not live up to the book). Because of this, I can't really say anything about violence and language. However, the whole disobedience towards adults happened because his guardians were oppressive and mean. Of course, he should still listen to them. They probably felt the same way about Matilda. Also, it apparently promotes alcohol and drug use. Anyone understand that?
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle was banned because of "offensive language" and "religiously objectionable content." In this case that means having crystal balls, witches, and demons. Obviously, this will corrupt children.
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss was banned because it shed a bad light on to the logging industry. I suppose it did, technically. Of course, if we keep cutting down the trees we will destroy an entire ecosystem, but he shouldn't say that, of course.
Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein was banned because of "suggestive illustrations" and because it also, according to one library, "glorified Satan, suicide and cannibalism, and also encouraged children to be disobedient." Glorified Satan, suicide, and cannibalism? Seriously? Can anyone explain to me how that works? I can't.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, while never actually banned, was challenged because it gave an example of good witches which is, of course, theologically impossible, and it elevates animals to the same levels as humans, and that's just wrong.
I'm going to end this by one that we all should recognize: Looking for Alaska by John Green was challenged because it contained a sex scene and we can't have sex scenes because that corrupts children or something stupid like that. Of course, as John explained, the sex scene is there to show that there was no closeness between them during that scene, but there is after she's gone. But that's not important.
In case you didn't gather from my very sarcastic tone, I consider book banning to be very stupid. I also see it as an insult to children and young people. So many books are banned because it will "corrupt children" in some way. I think children should be able to pick the books they want to read, and parents should trust their kids more than they do. It's disrespectful to children and looks down on them when adults what books they can read. It's also stupid.
What's your opinion on banned books? What's your favorite banned book?
I have newspaper pants,
Jeffrey Adam Guion