Saturday, September 21, 2013 | By: Angela Brown

FREADOM - Banned Books Week

I'm glad that I live in a country where we have freedoms and rights. With those rights come responsibilities. Sometimes, the responsibilities part gets left flapping in the wind with a lot of issues. Then there are times that "trying to be responsible" can cross over into "way too overprotective Iron Mommy mode."

I love books and admit I'm baffled when I see some of the books that get "challenged." Maybe it's because I know life isn't perfect. Books can be a gentler way of introducing some of the less happy facets of our world to minds that haven't been sullied with having certain issues smashed into their face by reality. Or maybe it's because I understand we are all different, unique. We can identify with various characters, not just the Mary Janes or Easy Going Bens of the world. Not everyone can be the Joneses or keep up with them. Some books can help show how being the Joneses ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Here is an example of a Pulitzer prize winning, historically based novel that was among the top ten challenged books for 2012, according to State of America's Libraries Report 2013.
Amazon
I read this story as a teen. Amid my love of fantasy and travels to far away places, I enjoyed Toni Morrison and her stories. Her writing is brilliant and this story told of such gut-wrenching heartache. Set some time after the Civil War, freed slaves had a lot of healing to do along with figuring out what to do with their lives since so many were set loose with hardly two wooden nickels to rub together. And an Emancipation Proclamation didn't make owners change the way they looked at former slaves or how former slaves looked at themselves. Beatings, rapes and abuses were part of their past and never left for some, always present. Life was not pretty rainbows and sunshine. It was good to read about, to be aware without having to experience it myself.

As part of the Banned Books Week hop, I'm doing a giveaway of a $10 Amazon e-gift card. Feel free to enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway And make sure to check out the others on the hop:

91 comments:

teachinmomma123 said...

I have no idea because the things that are banned are stupid to have banned.

Sarah P said...

I think if the ideas expressed in the book are offensive to someone or they think it's inappropriate for children they might try to have it banned. Thanks for the giveaway!

Mary BookHounds Jacobs said...

Thanks for participating!

Kirsten Holen said...

I think it's just people's opinions on what they don't want their kids to be reading or what they don't think is proper. I think it's silly; they could just not read it!

Claudia N said...

This is the first time I hear about books being banned/challenge, Thank you for the chance to win!

Terri Matlock said...

I have no idea. I think it's dumbfounding some of the books that have made it on there though. Especially ones i've read or my child has read? I have to admit the captian underpants threw me off and whats sad is my kid loves that series. he wants to read more. :-/ Course he reads diary of a whimpy kid. Aren't those just as bad? There are a couple that my son has read that have had words in them that he doesn't want to say...

Angela Brown said...

I hear you there.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks for sharing some insight.

Angela Brown said...

My pleasure.

Angela Brown said...

Ref: they could just not read it.

Interesting point.

Angela Brown said...

Glad to have you enter and glad you've had a chance to learn about the challenges some novels have even after they get published.

Angela Brown said...

My daughter has an interest in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series as well.

Brooke said...

I think it's people who feel they are 'above' certain ideas...like they are better than some of the situations in these books.

Karen Greenberg said...

I think the people who are quick to ban a book are afraid that their values will be trampled by people reading the books. I'm not sure they understand that the are doing the exact same thing by trying to have the books banned.

Tia Dalley said...

People that want to ban books want to stop people from thinking on their own. It's wrong! Many things can make people want to ban a book from religion, language, social situations. I believe all books should be available to all people than we can make our own decisions on what we want to read and what we want to avoid.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

I never realized Beloved was considered so offensive as to be banned. Yup, it's ok for everyone to bear arms, but don't let them read a book that can make the world a better place. *shakes head*

This is a great idea for a blog hop. And a good choice to write about, Angela.

Alina said...

I kinda think banning books is silly. If I want to read something I'll read it. As far as banning books for kids, well, I think that's up to the parents. Thanks for the giveaway ;)

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

I wanted you to know I just went and bought Beloved for my Kindle because of your post .... it's been a while since I read this and I wanted to support it as an important story.

Shane R. said...

Books are challenged often when the ideas in the book force people to think for themselves or introduce people to ideas that are not the status quo. Books are banned by those in power out of fear that those they control will become uncontrollable.

Jessica said...

I think it is terrible that any book is banned. Reading a book should be left to the reader and no one else.

Redheaded Bookworm said...

I'm not really sure why they ban books. There seems to be no rhyme or reason. I understand that some can be misunderstood, but why ban them? If you don't like it, don't read it but don't place your beliefs on everyone else.

Kayla Card said...

If the content is upsetting in any way, people are going to complain. Lots of these books are disturbing on purpose to make a point (like 13 Reason Why - one of my all-time faves). There are many books on the banned list that I will never read or let my kids read, but that is my personal decision. You should be free to make that decision for you and your family.

magic5905 said...

Someone who thinks their better than everyone else and their opinion matters more. If you don't like it, don't read it. They ruin it for the rest of us.

a pile of good things said...

Sometimes people challenge books because they feel it challenges their moral values (and therefore also go against everyone else's); other times, people just find the content somehow "too upsetting" and decide that it should be censored for everyone else.

Suz said...

I think books are banned because some people feel threatened by their content. I don't agree with banning because I feel that everyone should be able to choose for themselves. Thanks for this amazing giveaway - I would love to win!

Suz Reads

Kristin A said...

Ah, why books are banned, that is the question. People are always scared of the unknown and books written about subjects that don't fit inside their "box" are too much for them, so to challenge the book seems to be the answer instead of opening the book and their minds, and learning something new. Just my opinion!!!

Amber Sok said...

A lot of the time, I think that books are challenged because they don't fit what some people want to see in a book. It's like forcing the people to see that some people enjoy something that they might think is morally wrong. Harry Potter for example, made everyone want to be magical, but some thought that all it did was encourage witchcraft. I have some friends who aren't allowed to read the HP books, and I feel really sad that they can't experience how AMAZING they are.

jmcgaugh said...

I'd say that it is "radical" ideas in the eyes of the person/people who want the book banned.

Diaper Dad said...

Ignorance was the first word that popped in my head. People are frightened by different ideas.

Jay Riv said...

I think someone, somewhere was offended,often times involving a child or teenager, and they just make such a big stink about it, others start to question it.

Anne Consolacion said...

I'd say that books that are extremely violent may be restricted to young readers but adult should read what they want. What's important is being a responsible reader (or parent).

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Banning is what I have issues with. The challenging part is just expression of opinion. Even though I don't always agree.

Angela Brown said...

I hadn't considered that perspective.

Angela Brown said...

Since I hadn't really considered banning before regarding books, it's interesting to see various thoughts on this matter, like this possibility.

Angela Brown said...

Free thinking has been a hotly debated item.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks, Cathy. Beloved with a wonderful read and it often puzzled me why people wanted it banned.

Angela Brown said...

I definitely believe that parents should play an active role in their children's reading lives, which shouldn't require banning books to do so.

Angela Brown said...

That's awesome, Cathy. I know it can be a hard read, but I really enjoyed it.

Angela Brown said...

Another interesting perspective I hadn't considered.

Angela Brown said...

Reader's choice is important.

Angela Brown said...

I, too, am unsure of the whole banning process and how it gets applied.

Angela Brown said...

There it is. You may not like certain books or place them in your kiddos' hands to read, but that is a personal choice

Angela Brown said...

Oh opinions....the many things that can be said about those.

Angela Brown said...

Censorship is such a touchy matter.

Angela Brown said...

Interesting, to one, a book can be threatening while to another, it is enlightening...possibly that enlightenment can be a threat?

Angela Brown said...

Opinions appear to be what this is all about so your opinion is appreciated :-)

Angela Brown said...

I recall a great deal of the Harry Potter and witchcraft hoopla. *shaking my head*

Cindi said...

I believe that books are banned when they go against a group of people's political or religious beliefs. Also, parents who don't know how to communicate with their children view any book with sexual or drug-laden content as evil. My daughter LOVES the Push series and we discuss it at length. So far, she hasn't become a drug addict yet, lol.

Ashley E said...

Honestly, if it's a good book, I think there's someone out there who disapproves of it. Stories are all about the conflict, after all!

Jessie Harrell said...

Sometimes I think books are banned because small minded people don't want their kids to know that another reality (i.e., truth) exists.

Gwen Gardner said...

I don't think I ever read Beloved. I read Uncle Tom's Cabin and some others. I definitely will have to pick it up.

J.L. Campbell said...

Haven't read Beloved yet, but know it will move me when I do.

MusicalThought said...

Honestly?
I think people are inclined to ban things that take them outside their comfort zone. Books like Beloved or The Bluest Eye or Huck Finn or...(I could go on)...are based in reality...they contain real-life issues like rape, racism, infanticide, slavery, murder... People can't escape into something they find shocking, I think--at least not as complacently as they want to.
Anyway, just kind of spit-balling, but maybe that has something to do with it?

Beloved, by the way, is a strange and gorgeous piece of fiction, no matter what the film tried to do to it. ;-)

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

Someone just decides they don't like something about a book and want it pulled off the shelves so others can't read it. If you don't like it, don't read it. I can if I want to!

Susan Oloier said...

I read Beloved as a teen also. Such an amazing book from a gifted writer. I think fear is what causes books to be banned.

Catherine Stine said...

Some of the banned books are the best ones! And I can't believe that any Toni Morrison book is STILL banned. Beyond ridiculous.

Nikki Greis said...

One reason they are challenged? Curse words, especially the dreaded "F-bomb." I work in a high school library and we just had a situation where this came up.

Lisamarie said...

Its all a matter of opinion as to why a book is banned due to language, sexual content, racial content, homosexuality etc... I am thankful my parents never said I couldn't read anything because of its content.

G K said...

It all depends on what people deem appropriate for their children to read. It doesn't matter if the books are actually informative and helpful. If there's something they don't like then it must be banned. It differs for each person.

Tiffany Drew said...

I think books are banned because some people are afraid of change and new ideas. They don't want things to be different or they have their own personal beliefs and think those are the only true ways to live and therefore everyone else should do the same.

sablelexi said...

I think books get banned for a lot of different reasons: religion, politics, age appropriate, ect.
Jennelle J

roro said...

I think books are banned because some subjects are "sin full" or oppose their opinions.

Amanda said...

A book that I saw was challenged because it was required reading in a high school. The content of the book was felt to not be appropriate. This type of challenge I agree with.

Rita said...

I can't think of any reason a book should be banned.

Jessica Schank Snow said...

Personally, I find it upsetting to know that books are banned. I think it should be the parents choice whether or not their child should read them. I remember I read tons of banned books back when I was in school (they were required) and did reports on them and they weren't banned at that point. America is freedom of speech, so I feel that should work for books as well.
Thanks for the giveaway! =)
JJs2468@aol.com

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I have never understood why books are banned. Writers should be able to write what they want and readers should be able to read what they want. Books don't cause controversial topics, they just explore them. And if you tell someone they can't read something, what do you think is the first book they're going to want to get their hands on? :)

Mary Preston said...

People have different ideals, which they try to impose on others.

jessie2247 said...

I think books get challenged because people don't like/agree with some/all of the content of a book or don't think children should read them.

hedgerhousehold said...

I think most of the time books are banned because of peoples ignorance of the book or subject matter

Beth said...

People are afraid of the ideas a book can give someone

raelynbarclay said...

I was a bit older than high school when I read Beloved, LOL. Definitely a story that stuck with me for a long time.

Jillyn said...

Encouraging thoughts that go against what someone thinks, or challenges a system of beliefs. I find it happens when people don't want people to change from their norm, like gay themes being against religion.

While I think banning books is a futile effort, I can understand reservations being made when it comes to sexual content or vulgar language. But at the same time, grow up and teach your kids about the big scary topics and it won't be a problem.

Pearl K said...

When the authorities felt somethings are inappropriate, therefore they decide that others shouldn't come in contact with it..it's just making assumption for the whole without good reasoning.

Mer said...

Some people don't like being challenged, or asking 'what if', and may also have unrealistic ideas about how sheltered children must be. I think a good book is one that makes you think about your beliefs.

joye said...

I think books are banned because of language that is offensive to some, content that is controversial, and a lot of people have biased opinions.
There are those that just sit and wait to complain about anything and everything. Those few make it bad for the many. I think we can make our own decisions about what we read.
JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

ad0ffae6-78f6-11e1-8cde-000bcdcb5194 said...

I think it comes down to something challenging the sensibilities of the offended person, and the idea that one standard works for everyone.

eai(at)stanfordalumni(dot)org

celina k said...

The people who have the least amount of intelligence have the loudest voices.

celina k said...

The people who have the least amount of intelligence have the loudest voices.

Natasha D said...

I think if someone finds something to be offensive or different sometimes that causes it.
Thanks for the chance to win!

JannyBee said...

I am against banning books and think it is up to parents to choose what they want thier children to read.

Dovile said...

I'd say some people don't want any book to challenge their beliefs and views, or sometimes they are just being prudish, like with 'Fifty Shades of Gray'.

Corina Lombardi said...

People do actually. If enough people call in and complain about a book they add it to the list.

Mona said...

I think others' perceptions of what constitutes inappropriate content causes a book to be challenged and/or banned. This content, be it profanity, sexual content, violence, etc, is sometimes not gratuitous.

Thanks :)

CindyWindy2003 said...

anything that is magical, viewed as anti religious paganism or violent or has sexual content. personally i like those kinds of books!

Jessica Whitehouse said...

I think that books are banned because people want to tell other what to think and how to live. Most of the people who challenge books are those who have 3 things: money, religion, and influence. Those people want to use their power and influence to tell those of us who don't have power how to live.

Stacy said...

Honestly I think books are challenged by people that haven't even bothered to read them!

Bookishqueen said...

People find certain books offensive and thus believe that no one should read them. The reasons why they find them offensive very.

Vicki said...

I think banning books is ridiculous. We have the choice to pick up a book and read it or not. If you do start reading a book and something "offends" you, put it down!

What I think should be banned are commercials and songs/videos that are full of semi-nude people and talk about sex, etc.

Filthy language in public is something I have a big issue with too. You can hear it anywhere at any time.

Children are exposed to those things every day, and that's so sad.

Francine said...

i think it is because some people like the control and they think their opinion is the only one that matters.

jessica said...

I think that it's just something that people need to do. They want to challenge because nothing can be perfect. They challenge it because they have to power. Thanks for being a part of the hop.

sdlashbrook said...

I think it's just some ppl are too uptight and have certain expectations. I mean look at some of the books on the list. It's ridiculous really.

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