Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Banned Books


Tell Me Something Tuesday, a meme started by CambriaHebert, but now hosted on Rainy Day Ramblings. It is a chance to get to know your fellow bloggers by sharing fun stuff, discussions and more. Grab the question and post your answer on your blog and link up at 
! Have fun!

This weeks question:
Let's talk banned books. How do you feel about book banning? What are some of the banned books you have read?

My confession... I don't know how many banned books I read. I just read them and don't even always find out if they are banned or not. 

However...
I did purposely read Anne Frank's diary in grade school when I found out it was banned:

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. 
In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annexe" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. 
In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.
I also was shocked to discover that Tiger Eyes (my fave Judy Blume book as a kid) was banned:

Tiger Eyes
by Judy Blume
Davey has never felt so alone in her life. Her father is dead—shot in a holdup—and now her mother is moving the family to New Mexico to try to recover. Climbing in Los Alamos Canyons, Davey meets mysterous Wolf, who seems to understand the rage and fear she feels. Slowly, with Wolf’s help, Davey realizes that she must get on with her life. But when will she be ready to leave the past behind? Will she ever stop hurting?

Heh... I wonder what those sensors will think when it comes out in movie form soon? (IMDb link) I suspect that this book will become popular again soon. But then haven't most young girls read Judy Blume? Even now with mom's telling their girls to read her, I suspect she is still popular. Plus, I do think that most of her books are banned. Another good reason to recommend her to everyone. :D

Oh and my parents didn't mind me reading banned books. They encouraged it.

The thing is, is that I know I've read a ton more than this that have been banned. Harry Potter series is banned so a lot of people have at least read one banned book. Even churches (in almost every religion) have read at least one banned book. :D

How about you? Are you more likely to read a book if it is banned?
"The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion... In the long run it will create a generation incapable of appreciating the difference between independence of thought and subservience." ~Henry Steel Commager
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From goodreads:
George Bernard Shaw
“All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.”

32 comments:

  1. I am a strong advocate of NOT banning books. I have read quite a few and the reasons are so strange at times. I loved Anne Frank, and Judy was one of my favorite author when I was a kid.

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    1. I think the reasons are always strange to me. :)

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  2. I've only read one banned book because it was banned (I've read lots of books that are banned because they looked good) but when I was in Germany my host-grandmother had a German copy of All Quiet on the Western Front.

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    1. I know I've read a ton of banned books, but don't often know unless I see a poster or something with it labeled on it. I'm with you... I just read it because it looks good. :)

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  3. Anne Frank should be required reading not banned! Judy Blume for that matter too. However, I am not supporter of banning books or forcing books (forcing reading is another matter) on people :)

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    1. I agree, but neither were required reading when I was a kid. I just read them because I liked them. I also agree on the forcing. I think you get a lot of non-readers that way.

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  4. Fascinating post, it always amazes me just what books have been banned and why. Against book banning personally BUT I can understand why certain books were banned at a certain time, at a certain period in history.

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  5. I love how the Diary of Anne Frank is banned (is it still?), yet that was one of the few books in my high school curriculum I actually enjoyed reading. I got so involved in that book! I'm always surprised by what books get challenged or banned, it just makes no sense to me. Fail:(

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    1. I don't think things get taken off the banned list... as far as I know... If you fail at understanding, then you aren't alone! :)

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  6. I think I'm mostly like you, I just read, and later if I find out something was banned, I roll my eyes. :-) But at least one case of censorship did make me curious about a book I'd otherwise not have read. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler was under fire from a library in Missouri (along with one of my all time favorite books Slaughterhouse Five), and I thought I should probably see what all the fuss was about. Turns out, not much, but I did discover that I love Sarah's writing, and it turned me onto her other books. :-) I also loved Tiger Eyes and The Diary of Anne Frank when I was in school too, and I feel lucky that the latter was part of my curriculum, instead of being banned like it was in some schools. Wonderful post, thanks for sharing!

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    1. I think that is the only good thing about banning. It brings attention to books that would otherwise be missed. I love when it backfires like that. :)

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  7. I don't think books should ever be banned and I read many banned books when I was a kid without even knowing it.

    I have to be honest - I never really paid attention to the issue before blogging. I live in a small community that is trying to ban HP, THG and more. I'm just stunned by the whole thing.

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    1. I live in a pretty small community too, but they have a huge thing about the library and reading so we don't see banning. I've always felt lucky that they encourage reading.

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  8. I read Anne Frank in school, is it not required reading anymore, or is that the point

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    1. It wasn't required reading, but I had seen the movie before I found out it was banned. So, I got the book. That was the only one I bought because it was banned.

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  9. Like most people, I just read and pay no attention to books being banned or not. We've changed regime so many times that there are more books that have been banned at some point than not, so keeping track can be pretty difficult.

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    1. The only time I pay attention is when it is made a big deal. Otherwise, I just read what I want. :) I think most of us ignore it unless it is made an issue.

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  10. it's sad I haven't read any but I really need to!

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    1. I bet you have read several that have been on the US banned list... maybe not France tho. :) We can be a puritan bunch... :P

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  11. I am sure I have read tons, since every other books seems to get banned

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  12. Thanks for being a part of TMST and weighing in today. I am glad my parents never stopped me from reading something. I remember Judy Blume being one of my favorite authors. It is ridiculous that Diary of Anne Frank would be banned that is history and to forget it is a big mistake. Let's keep spreading the word against banned books!

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  13. I wouldn't read a book just because it's banned but I'm sure I have read some that are banned. However, banning books doesn't seem as popular in the UK - there is rarely any books that get banned over here as far I know! :-)

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  14. I usually just choose to read books based on if their summary interested me or if the author wrote books i enjoyed before. most of the books i read are from the bookstore so I never really pay attention to banning. I loved many of Judy Blume books and never saw anything wrong with them. Fudge!

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  15. LIke you, I don't know how many banned books I've read. There's a list near the printer I use at work and I've read about half of them...but not on purpose (nor have I avoided them. I mean, why would I?!?). But they definitely intrigue my students, who are curious as to why a particular book was banned...and usually pick it up.

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  16. I just hear a book was banned and I automatically want to read it. I don't think I knew that either of those was banned but I guess it's not surprising. Ridiculous though!

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  17. I don't pay much attention to what books are banned. I read so many novels that would probably BE banned if they were better known...and I've read a ton of novels that already ARE banned. I think banning books is a bad idea. It just adds more curiousity for some, so it's defeating the purpose right? Plus, people should have the choice to read or not read something. If you don't want too, that's fine. But if you do, people shouldn't have the right to tell you not too (unless it's a parent...then I guess you have a problem lol). I read all sorts of books growing up and my parents never paid much attention. I was a good kid. Reading opened my eyes to things and I learned a lot. I can really only think of one time my mom didn't want me to read something...so I didn't, but I kind of agreed with her, so it was fine. :)

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  18. Yup. I love to pick a book that has been banned. I read Anne Frank as well. Actually in school before the banned it. But I think these books offer so much more. Awesome post.

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  19. Thanks for joining in the discussion, Melissa! The reasons behind the books are sometimes more interesting than the book itself. A lot of the reasons make me scratch my head and go "Wha?". A couple of reasons that The Diary of Anne Frank was challenged is because of sexual content and mention of homosexuality- both of which I don't recall at all.

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  20. Nice. I didn't know they were making a film of that one. Judy Blume was an author I read alot of as a child. I can only hope and assume that works by authors I read as a child (like Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary) will still remain popular with the new generations as well.

    I can't say I would read a book JUST because it was BANNED. I prefer to read books that look good/sound good to me. If the book is banned, that's just how it is. But, I don't go looking JUST for BANNED books. I agree with encouraging children to read. My parents always encouraged me to read, and still do.

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  21. Wow, Anne Frank is banned in the USA? I am pretty sure it was required reading when I was in school here in Holland. To make the evil of WWII more real on a personal basis.
    I have no idea if there are banned books in Holland too, and if I have read some. Right now I am thinking: you Americans are strange ...

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Thanks for commenting! I ❤ comments!