Banned Books Week discussion group!

On Wednesday, October 3, I invited people to the library and discuss the books they've read that have been banned or challenged at some point in the past. We began by talking about which books we'd read, then why we think they might have been challenged, and finally looking up the actual reasons. Some of the reasons people give are pretty bizarre, and so I thought it would be fun to match up 10 of the weirdest reasons with the respective books. The teens that participated were really sharp and matched them up in no time flat!

Below is the list of books and the reasons people gave for their removal:

  1. “Encourages children to break dishes so they won’t have to dry them.” ( A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstien)
  2. “The book contains topless sunbathing and 'on some pages there are dirty things'” ( Where's Waldo, Martin Hanford)
  3. “If there is a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it?” ( Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown)
  4. “Tarzan was ‘living in sin’ with Jane.” ( Tarzan, by Edgar Rice Burroughs)
  5. “It is a real ‘downer.’” ( Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank)
  6. “The basket carried by Little Red Riding Hood contained a bottle of wine, which condones the use of alcohol.” ( Little Red Riding Hood, by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm K. Grimm)
  7. “One bunny is white and the other is black and this ‘brainwashes’ readers into accepting miscegenation.” ( The Rabbit’s Wedding, by Garth Williams)
  8. “It is a religious book and public funds should not be used to purchase religious books.” ( Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, by Walter A. Elwell, ed.)
  9. “A female dog is called a bitch.” ( My Friend Flicka, by Mary O’Hara)
  10. “An unofficial version of the story of Noah’s Ark will confuse children.” ( Many Waters, by Madeleine C. L’Engle)
Afterwards I invited anyone who was interested to record themselves reading a passage from a banned or challenged book for the Banned Books Week Virtual Read Out. One person along with myself sat down in front of a Flip camera to read a short passage. Both videos are embedded below in a playlist:

The turnout might have been small, but the group was still fun!

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