Refusing to Lose

What do Charlotte’s Web, The Handmaid’s Tale, To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Color Purple have in common?

They’ve all been banned by someone.

You’ve probably already noticed, but September 21-27, 2014 is Banned Books Week.  It seems appropriate to mention here in light of this month’s theme of “losing”: if censorious people had their way, readers would lose the opportunity to experience a number of great and important texts.  Every time we pick up a banned book, we are reaffirming and celebrating our freedom to read as informed citizens of the world. Win!

Here are some interesting links to explore.

Books Banned For The Most Absurd Reasons Ever

The Most Ridiculous Claims Used To Challenge Classic Novels

Banned Books That Shaped America

33 Must-Read Books to Celebrate Banned Books Week

Ten Gorgeous Quotes From Banned Books

19 Banned Books If They Were G-Rated

In the comments, if you are so inclined, please tell us about your favorite banned book!


5 thoughts on “Refusing to Lose”

  1. I saw the list yesterday. Several of the titles are on the required reading lists at my daughter’s (private, all-girls, Catholic) high school, which makes me very proud of the school. She doesn’t get banning books at all. One of my faves came in at #1 this year – the Harry Potter series. Can you believe someone rewrote the book as “Christian” fiction for her kid? “Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles”


  2. Banned Book week inspires such mixed feelings for me. I love that readers call attention to this foolishness, but I am so sad that this is still an issue. There’s a fine line between banning a book and keeping it out of a curriculum, but for me (as both parent and reader), those are simply shades of the same color. Mary, that’s wonderful that your daughter’s school has several of those titles. My daughter’s school has had her read several things that were hard for me, but I choose to take those moments as opportunities for good discussion. Cynthia, thanks for the links!


  3. I remember teaching the first Harry Potter book in a Children’s Lit class in 2003 and discussing the attempts to ban it going on at that very moment. We all found it shocking…especially since the people who were making arguments against it didn’t even seem to have read what was actually IN the book.


  4. Love this! I used to wear a t-shirt (until it frayed) that listed banned books, including choices that amaze and dismay me. Gone with the Wind–really??


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