Friday, October 5, 2012

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop 

When I read there was a Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Soon Remembered Tales specifically dealing with Banned Books Week (which clearly has been on my mind), I just had to join.

Blogging Question: Banned Books Week ends on the 6th. How do you feel about books being challenged to be banned from libraries or schools? Have you read any banned books?

If you've read my posts this week, you already know I don't think that banning books is a good thing.  We are becoming a society so infatuated with sheltering our children that we aren't letting them make mistakes and choices for themselves.  College students complain to their parents when they get bad grades so that the parents call and yell at the professors.  Young professionals go on interviews and bring their parents with them.  And of course, they don't leave home until they're in their mid-30s.  I'll chalk the living at home thing up the economy, but either way, children are being coddled, and it starts with censoring their books.  I think children should be encouraged to develop their imagination and learn about all aspects of life, even the ones that aren't very pretty.

The banned books I've read on my own:
Brave New World
The Hunger Games trilogy
The Harry Potter series
Charlotte's Web
Twilight trilogy
The Handmaid's Tale
The Kite Runner
A Light In The Attic
The House Of The Spirits
The Dead Zone
Pillars of the Earth
The Lovely Bones
Go Ask Alice* - just got from the library last night

Banned books I was assigned to read in high school:
To Kill A Mockingbird
Fahrenheit 451
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Catcher in the Rye
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Of Mice And Men
Flowers for Algernon
Lord Of The Flies
The Great Gatsby
The Jungle


  1. I've read many of the books on your list & I love that you just got one out of the library last night. This week has definitely inspired me to go "back to school" so to speak and read more of these titles that I never got around to reading. And I totally agree with the coddling of children -- I hope some day I will not fall prey to doing that to my own kids! I personally feel it's more important that parents talk to their kids about what they are reading than for them to censor what they are reading.

    1. I feel lucky that my parents didn't censor what I read and neither did my schools. Some of these books are absolutely beautiful and it's a shame that people wouldn't read them.

      With that said, I'd be happy if I never saw the name Lord Of The Flies again (read that for 2 classes in college, too!) but I don't think it should be banned from schools. Just from my sight. LOL

  2. You are like were assigned the books, but at that time, they were not banned. :)

    Stop by to see the list I have read. :) My link is below.

    Happy Hopping.

    Silver's Reviews

    1. Actually, several of them were banned books at the time, but my county doesn't ban books. If your parent made a stink about what you were learning, only you were excused from the activity, not the whole class.

      Looking forward to checking our your post!

    2. You must be younger than I am. :)

      No ban on anything when I went to school. :) :)

    3. I'm almost 35. I like to think I look younger than that. Sometimes I think I act younger than that, but that's not necessarily a good thing. :)

    4. "If your parent made a stink about what you were learning, only you were excused from the activity, not the whole class."

      That's exactly how it should be everywhere! The fact that one or a few parents disapproval of a book could get it banned from a whole class, school, or library is just nuts!

    5. And Elizabeth, I really think the fact that there were no bans at your school either had more to do with what school or district you were in than what years you were in school! In some parts of the country, attempts to ban and challenge books have been happening since way before any of our times, no matter what our ages are!

    6. are probably correct.

  3. After googling what the 100 top banned books were I found I had only read three of them, not because they are banned books, but because most of the banned books were not in genres I read.

    Thanks for the visit to My Reading Corner today.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! You might want to try one of the books on the banned book list - you might find something outside your wheelhouse that you love.

  4. I actually think there is a fine line drawn between what can be banned and what can't. This is a hot topic button I prefer to say out of the way, but let me say, some of the books on the list, I have read, and so have my kids. I'm kinda shrugging my shoulders at why they would be banned....

    Any way, happy weekend my sweet friend!

    1. I don't think any books should be banned from adults, but having read so many of those banned books as a teenager, I really think that they were to my benefit, not detriment. But as you say, there's a fine line.

      Hope your weekend was great!

  5. The Lovely Bones was banned? Geez, every good book ends up on this list.

    1. So true! It's like the "banned books" list is really the "absolutely must read" list. :)

  6. What a great list! I bet you were surprised that all your required reading has suddenly turned into banned reading.

    Thanks so much for coming by my blog! :) Adding you to my blog roll!

    1. Thanks for the add. :)

      Yeah, I was surprised by the amount of banned books that were required reading until, I learned more about politics. I live in a super liberal county, so it's par for the course for the politics of my county and state.

  7. So it seems like everything I've read is on this list. BOO! No books should be banned. This infuriates me! My son and I read The Hunger Games together . . . and Harry Potter. Grr!

    1. But you're super cool and an awesome mom. :) If only every parents was as enlightened as you are.

  8. Hi, Sus!

    Thanks for commenting on my Book Blogger Hop regarding this topic!

    As for your own views, we'll just have to agree to disagree... I don't think that children are being 'coddled' when parents monitor what they read. In fact, I think that teachers and the school system should do this, too. Some material simply isn't appropriate for children. Nor is it appropriate for pre-adolescents, and, in some cases, even older teens.

    One of the banned books I read years ago was "The Exorcist". I don't know what made me pick up this book, when I totally and wholeheartedly DETEST the horror genre...but I did.

    Well, I can tell you that I was morbidly fascinated with the book -- I couldn't put it down! However, even though I made sure to read it during the daylight hours, I was unable to sleep well at night, and even had nightmares at least twice during the week it took for me to read it. Thank God I never saw the film!!

    How old was I when read this horrible novel? Somewhere in my twenties. If I was that strongly affected by this book at that age, I can imagine what a devastating effect it would have on a child or teen. (Shudders!)

    I wish I hadn't been required to read Edgar Allan Poe in high school. He's one of my most loathed authors! I also had to read "Wuthering Heights", and suffered through Heathcliff's cruelty...

    At least I wasn't required to read "The Lord of the Flies". That's a VERY disturbing novel.

    Bottom line, I firmly defend the right of mature -- and I stress the word 'mature'-- adults to read whatever they like. As for children and teens? No way. I believe, just as firmly, that there's such a thing as 'literary poison'. Even some adults can't handle such books. Those who are very sensitive souls (like me), certainly can't. But I think it's terrible to expose young minds to something that might emotionally damage them, or cause them to -- at least in a subtle -- way, become twisted themselves.

    As for the other examples of 'coddling' you mention, I also beg to differ. I've never heard of college students having parents yell at their professors. I certainly never did such a thing when I was in college! I've also never heard of young professionals bringing their parents along on job interviews. As for staying at home into one's thirties, there are cases of that, to be sure, but I wouldn't say, without looking at some statistics, that they're currently more prevalent. Maybe they are. I must admit that I really don't know. Where are you getting this information, by the way?

    These things you mention sure don't sound like they would apply to Americans. Some immigrant cultures living in the U.S. do have very strict upbringing standards, and tend to make their children too dependent. But Americans? Independence and self-reliance are the very bedrock of our country. We pride ourselves on instilling our kids with these concepts very early on.

    Well, I know this comment got pretty But I just had to voice my opinion. Thanks for reading, as well as for your thoughts on this issue! : )

    1. Hi Maria!

      We can certainly agree to disagree. :) I never had to read horror books in high school (Poe aside), but yes, The Lord of the Flies is disturbing. I think that there are age appropriateness to take into consideration, but teens are generally old enough to handle most topics. I'm just thinking of the required banned books I read in high school that were just wonderful and had important messages. Like To Kill A Mockingbird and Flowers for Algernon and The Great Gatsby. Beautiful books. Reading about sex, drugs, racism, etc never made me want to be/try any of those things, and maybe that's just me, but if I hadn't read those in high school, I may never have and I would have been missing out.

      I went to a dinner at Syracuse University last year and several professors started telling me stories of the parents getting out of control in their attempts to get their students better grades. Pretty sad.

      And for kids taking their parents with them on interviews, I read articles on that. Here's one I found by searching "parents going on interviews" Wish I was making this up...

      As for children living with their parents into their 30s - again, I'll chalk that one up to the horrible economy.

      Thanks for commenting - I always love interesting discussions.

    2. And for the record, I hated Wuthering Heights, too. Heathcliff and Catherine both were just awful human beings. But I read that on my own, not for school. But still - I just don't get how people think it's romantic!

    3. Your reply is bringing back all these memories! When I was a senior in high school, we were supposed to read Night by Eli Weisel and I told my teacher that since I had just come back from a trip to Germany that summer and seen Nazi prison camps that just terrified me, I was not ok to read anything about the Holocaust. She let me pick out a different book and I was excused from reading Night. I wish you (or here would be an appropriate place for a parent to speak up) had advocated for yourself to not read Poe. Books should not have to be torture or leave lasting damage!

    4. Hi Sus & Maria,

      It's funny that I just happened to see a story on the TODAY show as I was reading these latest comments and it was about how much parents give their children as an allowance and they broke it down by ages and I kid you not, the oldest age they had on their little "chart" was 25. 25!!!!! I'm on the older side of this generation we're talking about and I may not necessarily be the norm, but I was already married and out on my own for 2 years at age 25. So reading things like this makes me so embarrassed for my generation as a whole. I can overlook the moving back home thing with the economy as you say, but I really do think you are right that far too many children are being sheltered and coddled for far too long.

      I personally think we do a disservice to children by trying to protect them too much from what they read. I don't have children yet, but I know I will be much more critical of what my kids watch on TV/movies than what they read. I also don't think that any book that I've heard of being banned from a school would make a child twisted or damaged. If a child is very sensitive and a parent opposed the reading of Poe or something like that in school, the child should be excused from the assignment, but it should not be pulled from a curriculum.

      And just because parents wish kids didn't know about certain topics, doesn't mean that they haven't already been exposed to them. Reading about them in the context of literature will often teach them about any of these difficult topics, rather than influence them to act out.

      Just my two cents!

    5. OMG, 25?!?! At 25 I had been a home owner for 2 years and been working at my current job for 3! Wow.

      Truth be told, my older brother lived off my parents for way too long. WAY too long. They totally enabled him (I hope he doesn't read this!), but I don't think they ever gave him an allowance.

  9. Hey, Sus!

    I meant to come back to your blog to comment again, but just hadn't had the see, I have TWO jobs....And no, I don't get an alert when someone replies to my comment on their blog. Do you know how and where to get one? That would be nice!

    Anyway, there are books that I agree shouldn't be banned for children and teens. One of them is "To Kill A Mockingbird". I think this book is excellent for teaching these age groups about the evils of racism. I'll have to be more specific. The books I had in mind as not being appropriate for either children or teens are horror novels and short-story anthologies. This would include authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, V.C. Andrews, William Peter Blatty, and others that don't come to mind at the moment. As I said in my previous comment, I do believe there's such a thing as 'literary poison'. (I've never heard this term before; it just came to me. Lol.) But that, for me, describes the horror genre. Why? Because this genre feeds off the most horrible, fear-inducing aspects of the human condition. I am completely in favor of having such books banned from school libraries. I don't see the point of requuiring or allowing kids to read them. If I had nightmares after reading "The Exorcist" in my twenties, what would be the effect on a kid of, say, 12? Or even 17? (Once a child reaches the age of 18, then s/he has to be considered an adult, even though they can't drink until they're 21.)

    Anyway...I have lots more to say, but little time...

    I love interesting discussions, too, and this is certainly turning out to be one of them!!

    Just a couple of words in closing...when you mentioned these twenty-somethings asking their parents to talk to their college professors, and having parents aocompany them to job interviews, I just couldn't believe it! Thanks for providing information on the sources. Hope you weren't upset or anything when I challenged what you wrote. It's just SO incredible!! Also, about people still living with their parents into their thirties -- that I've heard about, and yes, it's because of the economy.

    Well, I really must go now...gotta get up early to be at work at 8:30 AM...

    To be continued!! Take care!! : )

    P.S. I'll also be back to reply to Christine's comment, as well! So nice to meet you guys!! : )

    1. I don't know how to see comment replies, either. But I'm so new to blogger that I'm pretty clueless about it all.

      I agree - horror is a genre not easy for all people to handle. It's definitely not my cup of tea. However, one of my best friends lives for it and read a ton of it in middle school and high school and hasn't murdered anyone yet. LOL :) It's all relative.

      I wasn't upset that you challenged my info at all - people put stuff up on blogs that are not fact based all the time, so I think it was good on you to ask for references! But again, I wish I was making those stories up. It's just so sad...

      Loving all the discussions this has produced! :) Thanks!

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