September 30, 2010


You know books get banned. But do you always know why they were challenged in the first place? Here are a few books and the reasons behind people wanting to ban the book.

People will challenge anything that doesn't fit into their nice neat box of a life they made for themselves. Clearly they are not intelligent people as "the test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." (F. Scott Fitzgerald) People who ban books are not confident enough nor intelligent enough to have ideas that don't agree with their own floating around. How dare someone not be a sheep!

Okay so take a look at some of these reasons "the sheep" gave for challenging the books. I took the liberty of finding some of the more ridiculous reasons. All info is from the ALA.

1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
This book was removed by a school in Summerville, S.C., in 2001 because it "is a filthy, filthy book."

Oh well that clears it up. What kind of explanation is that?

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Retained in the English curriculum by the Cherry Hill, NJ Board of Education (2007). A resident had objected to the novel’s depiction of how blacks are treated by members of a racist white community in an Alabama town during the Depression. The resident feared the book would upset black children reading it.

Yes because when they find out that their ancestors were slaves for hundreds of years they won't get upset. And heaven forbid they learn about their own history.

3. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Banned in the Souderton, PA Area School District (1992) as appropriate reading for 10th graders because it is "smut."

Clearly this person has no idea what "smut" actually is because this book is far from it.
4. Beloved by Toni Morrison
Pulled from the senior Advanced Placement (AP) English class at Eastern High School in Louisville, KY (2007) because two parents complained that the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about antebellum slavery depicted the inappropriate topics of bestiality, racism, and sex. The principal ordered teachers to start over with The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne in preparation for upcoming AP exams.

Right. Adultery, prejudices, hatred, and death are much more acceptable to learn about. Plus, Beloved was interesting and we can't have that going on in a classroom.

5. 1984 by George Orwell
Challenged in the Jackson County, FL (1981) because Orwell's novel is "pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter."

You're right. I became a communist immediately after reading this book. Moron.

6. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Challenged as a required reading assignment in an advanced English class of Pulaski County High School in Somerset, KY (1987) because the book contains "profanity and a segment about masturbation."

Yeah cause teenagers don't cuss and masturbate and have sex. This would be a totally new concept to them!

7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
In 1974, five residents of Strongsville, OH, sued the board of education to remove the novel. Labeling it "pornographic," they charged the novel "glorifies criminal activity, has a tendency to corrupt juveniles and contains descriptions of bestiality, bizarre violence, and torture, dismemberment, death, and human elimination."

What juvenile was corrupted by a book? This is like the same people who say video games made those kids shoot up Columbine. Sure they influence but if your ass was around being a parent they would have your influence, too, and therefore at least have a dichotomy when they were deciding what to do. And I read this book and I watched graphic movies and I have played a violent video game before and I didn't go out and shoot up all my friends. SO maybe it isn't the freaking book!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What is the craziest reason for challenging a book that you've heard?


  1. Great post! I'm amazed at some of these bizarre reasons - love the thought of teenage boys learning about masturbation for the first time by reading a book. LOL!

  2. Every reason I've heard for banning a book is crazy, if you ask me.

  3. Reverse psychology. Banning it was the only way the teacher could get them to read it. :P

  4. Just yesterday a lady wanted us to pull John Green's Paper Town because it had the f word and the word ass in it.

  5. Just yesterday a lady wanted us to pull John Green's Paper Town because it had the f word and the word ass in it.

  6. If you didnt say so before I would never have gussed these were serious. I laughed the whole way through.

    I cant remember any recent banned book reasons. Other then Harry Potter encouraging children to do magic.

    Great post!

  7. A school in Florida banned The Diary of Anne Frank for being "a real downer." That's the most asinine one I've heard, although the moron who said that the first Harry Potter promoted drinking of blood AND that this was an aspect of Wiccan culture is right up there for least informed reason.

  8. I agree that the whole Harry Potter encouraging witchcraft thing is one of the craziest I've heard. Ever heard of fantasy people?

    It really drives me crazy when people try to ban books because they portray negative or difficult things. Is To Kill a Mockingbird encouraging racism? The exact opposite. What better role model could a child have than Atticus Finch? Just because a book talks about difficult subjects doesn't mean it's promoting them.

  9. Isn't it sad to read these? I think one I heard about was about Catcher in the Rye and the parents were challenging the book because they had heard it had some bad stuff. They didn't know what but they sure wanted to have the book pulled off the shelves. What is wrong with people!

    I've been enjoying your banned book posts!

  10. First of all, I LOVE the F.Scott Fitzgerald quote; it's always been one of my favorites.

    And 1984 is pro-communist??? Did the person who said that actually read the book, or even know the premise?

    I don't know ... my daughter has researched this issue and I asked her what's the craziest reason she's heard for banning a book. This is her pick: Alice in Wonderland was banned in China because it has anthropomorphic animals in it. Hmm.

  11. Sheila's blog mentioned that The Loraz was banned for bashing on the logging industry. I can't believe anyone would want to ban Dr. Seuss!

  12. What scares me is that I'm afraid we're going to see more and more books being challenged. It's just amazing to me that this is still an issue!

  13. It is funny and sad to read the reasons behind wanting a book banned! Your banned books posts have been very inspirational!


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