Thursday, September 28, 2017

Banned Books Week 2017: Thursday

Welcome to another post on banned books - and thanks for your comments, Walt.
First, sorry for not doing a post yesterday. I was too distracted by an incident involving the Oogieloves (don't ask) but here's my post for today, on books in our house that I haven't mentioned have been challenged and/or banned.

"Frog and Toad are Friends"
Why: Because of the use of "shut up".
Yes, you read that correctly. A coalition of concerned parents in Pennsylvania asked that this book be removed because it used "a rude phrase that was never properly explained as being rude". Even more surprisingly, it was banned in that PA school district.

"Charlotte's Web"
Why: Talking animals.
Yes, you also read that correctly. An evangelical parent in the 1980s believed that depicting animals communicating on the same level as humans was "an insult to God's handiwork." But why this book and not the millions of other books about talking animals?

The Chronicles of Narnia series
Why: Racism.
Yes, these books have been accused of being racist. There's a race of people in the books called the Calormenes, who ride camels, have lots of facial hair, and live in the desert. And for the most part, they are also antagonists. These books have also been banned because they are "too religious" for a public school.

The Little House series
Why: Racism.
However, the racism in these books was representative of their time to use terms like "Indian" and "darkie" to refer to these ethnic groups. Other classics use this type of language as well.

"The Giving Tree"
Why: A widespread theory that the boy and the tree are male and female stereotypes.
...and also because of the same issue that got The Lorax in trouble - "criminalizing logging".

"James and the Giant Peach"
Why: A variety of reasons.
These include: "criminalizing the act of authority figures giving children work to do", "using offensive language", and being "anti-family". I cannot understand the meaning of "anti-family", but this book definitely isn't anti-family. James and the Giant Peach is in fact one of the most frequently banned (if not the most frequently banned) children's books of all time.

The dictionary
Why: Contained a definition for "****".
And "****", and "****", and "****". But isn't defining words the dictionary's job, even if they're offensive?

What Would Jesus Do? for Kids
Why: Again, a variety of reasons.
Of course it was banned for being "too religious", but also for containing "violent words such as 'fight' and 'kill'," and for "strong and/or offensive language." Some of these challenges were even in Christian schools.

"A Wrinkle in Time"
Why: Too supernatural.
Those evangelical Christian parents never get tired of complaining about witchcraft and magic, do they?

"The Wizard of Oz"
Why: This is the most ridiculous thing ever.
Are you ready for it?
Okay, here it is.
It was challenged because....Dorothy's slippers weren't the same color they are in the movie. (The slippers are silver in the book but red in the movie, you may not have known that.)
Apparently, a parent whose child had seen the movie but not read the book feared that he would be "baffled" by the differences.
Makes no sense, but from reading these posts, you probably have learned that most reasons for challenging are ridiculous.

Tomorrow: the 10 most banned titles of all time. Some I have already mentioned, some I haven't.

Please don't stop reading my blog when I go over the reasons "The Grinch" has been banned - for the third time. All I'm doing is reporting the facts.




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