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Now, let’s get straight to the point. Banning books in schools is stupid, unproductive, and has nothing to do with the kids. It has to do with the imposition of politics and certain strains of ‘morality’ by adults on kids. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
It’s also stupid because this is the 21st century.
*Kids aren’t reading books. They are going to Wikipedia or SmartNotes and reading the summaries and discussion of the themes.
*The worry about access to indecent material is like sticking a finger in the Mississippi to stop the water. The internet makes the ‘indecent’ material in books look like Walt Disney–because kids absolutely know how to use search engines to find X^7-rated video.
So, what are some of the books that have been banned as corrupting young people in schools? Why were they banned?
*Anne Frank’s Diary –banned by multiple districts because of Anne Frank’s curiosity about sex (a teenager…curious about sex…go figure)
*Harry Potter books –it makes witchcraft popular and prone to persuading kids to go Satanic. Really. Now, also, because of the author’s personal viewpoints on gender/sexuality (Shouldn’t we have been happy at the INSANE numbers of kids of all ages who read these books and actually picked up other books/series because of them?)
*The Color Purple –involves sex and graphic violence (which doesn’t get war novels banned…)…likely because this involves a white law enforcement officer raping a black girl
*Of Mice and Men –divisive by using slurs and it ‘stereotypes’ mentally challenged individuals
*To Kill a Mockingbird –because it involves a ‘white savior’ so it’s inappropriate for black children…and it uses things like the N-word which makes it inappropriate for other children…all of it COMPLETELY missing (or intentionally ignoring) the context of TKam’s publication date of 1960.
*1984 –banned by the Soviets for being anti-Soviet, it was banned in the US for being PRO-Soviet (districts in Florida) as well as for its sexual content. The weird thing is, I can’t find that the U.S. ever banned the book Orwell essentially plagiarized, written by a Russian, Yvgeny Zamyatin: “WE”
*Huck Finn –originally because it was anti-slavery, then because it uses the n-word. In a couple instances it has been pulled because Twain was a white writer and deleted from the curriculum (I object to this last one–you don’t delete important people because of skin color…and Twain MUST be part of American literature classes)
*Where the Wild Things Are – banned in the American South because it criticized withholding food from children. Also banned on release because it showed a child with real emotions/issues…this was unacceptable to 1960s American adults.
*Tom Sawyer [should have thought of this when I put Huck Finn up above] – Because it is racist/anti-black because he uses the N-word (except he’s writing like people talked in the 1850s…and his choice to write in the vernacular is a big reason for his importance in literature).
*The Bell Jar – Whoa, suicide? Sexuality? No way….reading this could drive kids to suicide like Plath attempted and discussed.
*Elie Wiesel’s Night –too much violence (really…in a book about a Nazi extermination camp), though some of the banning was clearly politically motivated as it was published at a point where rehabilitating German leadership was critical for the Cold War (1960)…what I had not known was that ‘Night’is 1/8th the size of the original Yiddish book Wiesel wrote, with significant changes made to the text.
*Black Like Me –because it portrayed life in the south ‘unfairly’ (the white author made himself black and traveled the south, reporting on the difference in how he was treated)
*The Invisible Man -banned even today in parts of the South (North Carolina school districts), it’s banned because the main character has ‘a potty mouth’ and lacks innocence. There’s also sexuality. (Really, it’s because of the book’s critique of race). Ellison’s book won big awards in 1953…yet here we are 60+ yeras later with some school boards banning it.
*The Handmaid’s Tale – Banned in *public* schools in Texas because of its ‘offensive portrayal of Christianity’ and that Christianity can be used to subjugate women/justify the abrogation of civil rights.
There are a ton more than these out there. Look at those reasons I’ve summarized for each book’s banning.