Celebrating Banned Books

banned-comicsI’ve never been a fan of people telling me what to do. I’m open to book suggestions, but when people tell me NOT to read something, I’m probably much more likely to pick that book up. Which is why I love Banned Books Week.

I read my son his first banned book when he was less than two years old. I didn’t know about Banned Books Week back then, but I did sometimes get funny looks from people when they saw or heard me reading Captain Underpants to my toddler. Was he a little young? Maybe. Did he like the books? Undoubtedly. He still has a soft spot in his teenaged heart for those books.

And those aren’t the only banned books I’ve proudly offered my children. Apparently we’re a bunch of deviant rebels. Here are some of my favorite Banned Books:

Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson (LOVE this picture book!!!)
Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Bone (series), by Jeff Smith (these graphic novels made my son love quiche!)
The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
Forever, by Judy Blume
Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

Want to know why some of these have been banned? Visit the American Library Association.

From the Banned Books Week website: “Hundreds of books have been either removed or challenged in schools and libraries in the United States every year. According to the American Library Association (ALA), there were at least 464 in 2012.  ALA estimates that 70 to 80 percent are never reported.”

Even more annoying, many of the people opposing these books HAVE NEVER  READ THEM. Yeah. Obviously they’re experts.

Do yourself a favor by celebrating Banned Books Week with me. Look over the ALA’s list, find a title that you haven’t read yet, and give it a go. You might find yourself a new favorite book 🙂

4 thoughts on “Celebrating Banned Books

  1. I enjoyed this post, Sherrie. Your list could be my list! Our kids were drawn to these books (and I directed them that way) because they weren’t cookie cutter. Shoot, often that content which some deem inappropriate is EXACTLY what made the books attractive and memorable and meaningful. I wouldn’t take back the Bridge to Terabithia tears in my tough boy’s eyes for anything.

    • You obviously have fantastic taste in books 🙂 Memorable and meaningful is exactly what I want from a book. Those books that make us think about issues, or offer opinions that may differ from ours, or maybe just take our breath away, those are the ones that make a difference for us. Why people have to waste their time protesting it is a mystery to me.

  2. Sherrie, you know I agree that banning books is not the thing to do, but it infuriates me, too (and I’m sure everyone else!) that people who haven’t even read books have the nerve to challenge them. Pathetic.

  3. I love that you have shared banned books with your son! How cool! I am always surprised when I learn about why books are banned. I am with you- if someone tells me not to read something I want to read it even more! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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