Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Banned Books Week 2017: Tuesday

Today, Tuesday of Banned Books Week, we go over the strangest reasons that books have been banned and challenged. So here they are - and no, even Fahrenheit 451, which has been banned because it contains books being banned, is not on the list. These are even more ridiculous than that, in my opinion.

10. My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
Why: Uses the word "bitch"... to describe a female dog.
We all know the non-offensive meaning of "bitch". This is like banning a book because it uses "ass" to refer to the animal.

9. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.
Why: Digestion of a turtle.
Some of Judy Blume's other books have been banned, as previous posts have indicated, but this is just ridiculous. Would it have been banned if Fudge (the little brother in the book) ate a hamster instead?
Why so worked up about a turtle?

8. Superfudge by Judy Blume.
Why: Tells children that Santa Claus doesn't exist.
This sequel to Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing has been challenged and banned as well, mostly because of a controversial chapter in which Peter Hatcher, the young narrator, tells us that he knows Santa Claus doesn't exist and also tells his mother to tell Fudge the same thing.

7. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.
Why: Because it was written by a lesbian.
Crap. Total crap....and to one-up that, it's also been challenged for "encouraging children to snoop." It's in the title of the book! Would you buy "Harriet the Well-Behaved Child" for your school? Most likely.

6. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.
Why: Because the green ham unintentionally resembles a penis.
I'm looking at our copy of Green Eggs and Ham right now, and I cannot see a resemblance between the green ham and genitals. But for a while, Alameda County in California did not allow this book in any of their schools. Apparently, they saw a resemblance. What did I miss?

5. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein.
Why: Because it gives children mischievous strategies to avoid doing chores.
In the book, Silverstein writes the couplet: "If you have to dry the dishes / And you drop them on the floor / Then your parents will not let you / Dry the dishes anymore".
Supposedly one kid deliberately dropped the dishes on the floor while drying them so he or she wouldn't have to dry the dishes anymore. This was enough for the parents to write the school and petition for removal of the book.

4. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.
Why: Because it doesn't have a happy ending.
Spoiler alert: Leslie dies. Would you ban Romeo and Juliet? That's got an unhappy ending.

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Why: Racism.
In the words of my fellow blogger Sam Greenspan (not to be confused with Lauren Greenfield, director of the #LikeAGirl commercial that inspired my screenplay "Fearless Girl", and I await a response after sending my screenplay to her), "nowhere has a book made it more clear who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. Tom Robinson might as well have been named Innocent McFalselyaccused."
But...this book has been banned for the very racism it was trying to combat.

2. The Witches by Roald Dahl.
Why: Witches.
It's the title of the book. Would the school have bought a book called The Witches if they knew some parents would be finnicky about witchcraft? Maybe, if they thought people would read it.

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
Why: It's a long story, and here it is.
It was banned by a Maryland school in 2003 because of its title. Yes, its title. The school worried that referring to a character as "very hungry" would offend children who struggled with eating disorders, which makes no sense and seems REALLY oversensitive. Would you buy "The Caterpillar Who Ate Stuff"?

So, stay tuned for Wednesday's list, on which I will list a few books my family owns that you may not have known were challenged or banned, such as Frog and Toad.

Yes, you read that correctly.









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