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20 banned books that may surprise you

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Post by TexasBlue on Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:52 pm

20 banned books that may surprise you

Molly Driscoll
Christian Science Monitor
October 3, 2012

Why do books get banned from schools and libraries? There's nothing too terribly surprising about the idea that parents and teachers may strive to limit the access of young readers to books heavy on sex and/or violence. But there are some titles – like "Where's Waldo?" or "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" – whose presence on banned book lists seems quite mysterious. The following 20 books may seem innocent to many, but they have all raised reader objections at one time or another.

1.'Harriet the Spy,' by Louise Fitzhugh

Louise Fitzhugh's well-loved tale of a girl who spies on her friends and has to face the consequences was banned because it was said to set a bad example for children, supposedly encouraging them to spy, lie, and swear.

2.'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,' by L. Frank Baum

Frank L. Baum's classic story about a girl and her friends traveling through the mystical land of Oz came under fire in Detroit, where it was banned from the libraries for having "no value" for children and supporting "negativism."

3.The dictionary

The dictionary as banned book – really? Yes. The dictionary has been banned from libraries in California because it includes sexual definitions.

4.'Grimm's Fairy Tales,' by Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm and Wilhelm Karl Grimm

At first glance, banning fairy tales – in this case, from grades kindergarten through fifth grade in an Arizona school – may seem absurd. But on closer inspection, parental concern is less surprising. In these versions of "Grimm's Fairy Tales" Snow White almost gets killed by a corset and Cinderella's stepsisters cut off parts of their own feet.

5.'A Light in the Attic,' by Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein's book of poems – considered a classic by many readers – was banned in Florida because in the eyes of other readers it promotes violence and disrespect.

6.'Little House on the Prairie,' by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This installment in the wildly popular frontier series by real-life pioneer Wilder was banned from a South Dakota classroom because of comments the characters in the book made about Native Americans.

7.'Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See,' by Bill Martin Jr.

The classic children's book was banned by the State Board of Education in Texas in 2010 due to a simple mistake. A board member mixed up Martin with another author named Bill Martin who had written a book for adults titled "Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation."

8.'The Grapes of Wrath,' by John Steinbeck

Steinbeck's novel was banned soon after its release in various areas, including Kansas, for indecent content. "Wrath" was also banned in Kern County, Calif., one of the areas depicted in the novel, for libelous content, when one county board member found the portraits of some (fictional) Kern County residents in Steinbeck's book to be none too flattering.

9.'The Diary of A Young Girl,' by Anne Frank

The diary of a young girl who was killed in the Holocaust ran afoul of a Virginia school district in 2010 due to sexual content after schools began using the unedited version of the diary. When Anne's father Otto Frank first published the diary, he removed some passages, but they were later reinstated for the definitive edition published for the 50th anniversary. The Virginia school district eventually decided to use the earlier, edited diary in its classrooms. However, an Alabama school board did attempt to challenge the book in 1983 because, according to the board's records, it was "a real downer."

10.'Bridge to Terabithia,' by Katherine Paterson

Paterson's book about two children who pretend to visit a fantasy country has been banned by a school in Pennsylvania for offensive language (the main character, a boy named Jess, occasionally uses what some view as the Lord's name in vain) and disrespect towards authority figures.

11.'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,' by Roald Dahl

A Colorado library put this book in a locked reference collection because a librarian thought the tale of Charlie Bucket and his tour of a candy factory embraced a "poor philosophy of life."

12.'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,' by Mark Twain

That other Twain novel about Huck Finn has faced a raftload of controversy ever since the day it was first published. But "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" was also banned when librarians said they found Mr. Sawyer to be a "questionable" protagonist in terms of his moral character.

13.The 'Where's Waldo?' series by Martin Hanford

Martin Hanford's children's book series – which invites readers to hunt for Waldo, the man in a red-and white-striped shirt, wherever he may go – met with controversy in schools in Michigan and New York when readers objected to some of the characters in depicted in crowds, including a topless woman on a beach.

14.'Little Red Riding Hood,' by Charles Perrault

The fairy tale of a little girl who is led astray by a wolf while on the way to her grandmother's house was banned by two California school districts because one of the refreshments for her grandmother that Little Red Riding Hood carried in her basket was wine.

15.'To Kill a Mockingbird,' by Harper Lee

The story of a Southern family that confronts racism in their town may seem like an inspirational tale that's appropriate for everyone, but it was banned by one school in Minnesota for inappropriate language, seen when the heroine Scout swears, and by a school in Texas because it "conflicted with the values of the community."

16.'Twelfth Night,' by William Shakespeare

The classic play about a girl who washes ashore after a shipwreck and disguises herself as a boy was banned in a New Hampshire school system by a rule titled "prohibition of alternative lifestyle instruction," which means that teachers in the district are forbidden from discussing homosexuality in the classroom. The plotline in which Viola, dressed as a boy, falls in love with Duke Orsino was deemed inappropriate.

17.'Gone with the Wind,' by Margaret Mitchell

The Civil War epic which is often cited as one of the most beloved novels of all time was banned by a California school district for the book's portrayal of slaves in the antebellum South and for the immoral behavior of its heroine, Scarlett O'Hara.

18.'The Witches,' by Roald Dahl

The story by "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" author Roald Dahl about a boy who discovers witches are real was banned by some libraries in England because of perceived misogyny. The reason? Dahl says that witches can only be women. "I do not wish to speak badly about women," the author writes. "Most women are lovely. But the fact remains that all witches are women. There is no such thing as a male witch. On the other hand, a ghoul is always a male... both are dangerous. But neither of them is half as dangerous as a REAL WITCH."

19.'Canterbury Tales,' by Geoffrey Chaucer

The collection of stories, presented as narratives being told by a group of pilgrims, was banned at a high school in Illinois for sexual content.

20.The "Harry Potter" series, by J.K. Rowling

Some see J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" books as wonderful stories that teach that love is the most powerful magic of all and that it's always right to stand up for your friends. Others, however, see a series marred by a depiction of sorcery and witchcraft that are inappropriate for Christian readers. The "Harry Potter" series was banned by, among others, a Catholic school in Massachusetts.


“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman

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20 banned books that may surprise you Empty Re: 20 banned books that may surprise you

Post by Mark85la on Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:04 pm


20 banned books that may surprise you Senmem10

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