Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Don't Think My Teachers Cared About Depressing Us

You know how the books you were made to read in high school seemed that much worse because you were made to read them. (I wrote essays about how I thought Willy Loman deserved what he got.) But sometimes parents hate them, too. And that's when books get banned.

And banned books are the best books!

Catherine, faithful reader and guest blogger passed along Forbidden Library, which lists a ton of banning/challenging cases for various books.

Some highlights:

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne Frank. Modern Library. Challenged in Wise County, Va. (1982) due to "sexually offensive" passages. Four members of the Alabama State Textbook Committee (1983) called for the rejection of this book because it is a "real downer."

The Call of the Wild. Jack London. Ace; Bantam; Grosset; Macmillan; NAL; Penguin; Pocket Bks.; Raintree; Tempo. Banned in Italy (1929), Yugoslavia (1929), and burned in Nazi bonfires (1932). Who knew Nazis didn't like sled dogs?

Don Quixote. Saavedra Miguel de Cervantes. Methuen; NAL; Norton; Random. Placed on the Index in Madrid for the sentence, "Works of charity negligently performed are of no worth."

Raisin in the Sun. Lorraine Hansberry. Random. The Ogden, Utah School District (1979) restricted circulation of Hansberry's play in response to criticism from an anti-pornography organization. Did they read the same play I read?

Where's Waldo? Martin Handford. Little. Challenged at the Public Libraries of Saginaw, Mich. (1989), Removed from the Springs Public School library in East Hampton, N.Y. (1993) because there is a tiny drawing of a woman lying on the beach wearing a bikini bottom but no top. Yes, but did they find Waldo?

Go see if your favorite book is there!