Monday, September 26, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 1: What Book Would You Ban?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members reported their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition (See our post Banned Books Week.)

TheAmerican Library Associations tracks censorship efforts at school districts and libraries across the country. (The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund provides advice and guidance to school and library boards dealing with such attempts.) Each year the ALA compiles a list of the books attacked that year.

As part of this effort members reviewed those
lists as discussion stimulants. One of our more vocal members expressed the opinion that some of the books on the list should be banned because they are just plain lousy books.

Naturally that stimulated discussion, and the question was asked, What book would you ban?

Readers. please remember that GHPALS and its members are fully committed to the First Ammendment and the right of free speech. We are joking here.

  • Catcher in the Rye It's over taught because every English teacher loves it and their students hate it. I hated it and still do.
  • Any book that retells a classic from the villain's point of view. Come up with your own story and stop trying to make the bad guys into good ones who are just misunderstood.
  • The Hunger Games series. It's really creepy that a series about children killing each other is so popular. 
  • Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. This snarky piece of garbage has distorted more children's views of American history than Parson Weems did.
  • Go Set a Watchman It was criminal to publish it and tarnish Harper Lee's reputation. Someone ought to protect authors from greedy relatives and caretakers like they're protected from censorship.
  • Ghost written autobiographies of political candidates. 
  • Ghost written books of any kind when the actual writer is not attributed authorship.
  • Any book that hasn't been properly edited or proofread. 
  • Anything by Barbara Cartland or any other author whose paragraphs are one sentence long.
  • Kate Chopin because she's boring and an awful writer. If she weren't a woman no one would teach her in school. Louisa Mae Alcott writes so much better, but we can't teach her because she was popular and writes about people who are happy.
  • T.S. Elliot. I hate his poetry. When my son was five he accidentally tore the dust cover of a book at Crown Books. The first and only time he harmed a book. I told him we had to buy it now, then I noticed what it was and threw a fit. Of all the books in the store he tore The Collected Poems of T.S. Elliot!
  • A House on Mango Street because I just hated that book in high school. Hated, hated, hated.
  • Nothing. Let anything and everything be published and sold or given away. The stuff that's good will last and the stuff that isn't won't. I work at the library book sales and the tables are full of books that were best selllers years ago and no one now remembers.
  • The statistics book I had to read in college. I hated it so much I took a hole saw to it when the quarter was over. It now has a 3-inch hole right down the center.
  • I can't think of any book I hate enough to ban. Zoo was terribly written, but I wouldn't ban it. The Twilight Series was lousy, in my opinion, but people loved it so I wouldn't ban it. Cat's Cradle is my favorite book, and there are some people who'd ban Vonnegut. One man's meat is another man's poison.
The Banned Books Coalition developed prompts to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to Which banned book would you memorize to prevent being lost to the sands of time?

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