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Author Topic: Banned and Challenged Books
LemonThriller
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posted 06 January 2006 09:54 AM      Profile for LemonThriller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
According to the American Library Association, books are most often challenged because of homosexuality, sexually explicit or offensive language, religious viewpoint, drugs, occult/satan, and violence.

Take a look at the ALA's 2004 most challenged book list. It's pretty depressing. Who would ban a book by Maya Angelou anyway? There are ridiculous people on this planet.

Here in Canada, the attention on censorship in 2005 centred on the Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium, a bookstore in Vancouver that specializes in gay and lesbian literature, in its dispute with Canada Customs over the seizure of imported “obscene” books and magazines.

Anyone have experience with finding a book that was challenged or banned? Anyone see some of the best books they've ever read on these lists?

Related Sites:
- The Online Computer Library's Top 1000 Banned Books list.
- The ALA's list of 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000
- Banned Books Online List
- Canada's Freedom to Read organization.

[ 06 January 2006: Message edited by: LemonThriller ]

[ 06 January 2006: Message edited by: LemonThriller ]


From: Halifax, N.S. | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Andrew_Jay
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posted 09 January 2006 09:51 AM      Profile for Andrew_Jay        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Your first link doesn't work.

However, I always find it funny to read the lists of banned and challenged books in the U.S. - invariable a good number of them are books I recall being assigned to read here in Canada, often back in elementary school even.


From: Extremism is easy. You go right and meet those coming around from the far left | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 09 January 2006 09:57 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I seem to remember lots of Judy Blume books making the list at some point or another. I grew up loving her books.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Wizard of Socialism
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posted 09 January 2006 11:19 AM      Profile for The Wizard of Socialism   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Judy Blume... When I was in grade four, our school library got a copy of "And Then Again, Maybe I Won't." by her. We were actually encouraged by our teach to read it. None of the guys in class wanted to because we knew about her other books, and at the time thought her primary purpose was to teach girls about their monthlys. This book was written for guys from a guy's perspective. It taught us about errections and wet dreams. At a time when we were trying to decide whether girls were icky or intriguing, it explained a lot of things. It may seem lightweight today, but by late seventies standards, it was pretty progressive. Probably still banned in a lot of U.S. schools though...
From: A Proud Canadian! | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
RP.
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posted 09 January 2006 11:34 AM      Profile for RP.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I see Brave New World by Aldous Huxley on there, and had to think for a second why (but then thought of it). I've been thinking a lot about spinning and smearing lately. I wonder if I ever expressed a positive opinion about it, if someone might later come back and say something like "RP enjoys child sex book"
From: I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 09 January 2006 12:56 PM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I remember that well Michelle, only for us it was "the controversial" Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret. A book about a young girl dealing with her period. God forbid females should read about a natural female occurance. But then again, anything associated with the female body has always been associated with sin. Still the same way today.
From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Andrew_Jay
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posted 09 January 2006 02:17 PM      Profile for Andrew_Jay        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I remember one book now; Bridge to Teribethia.

Challenged in the U.S., read by our third-grade class. I think the complaint is something about the book dealing with death in a non-religious manner, or something equally foolish.


From: Extremism is easy. You go right and meet those coming around from the far left | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 09 January 2006 06:35 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
I seem to remember lots of Judy Blume books making the list at some point or another. I grew up loving her books.

I ah.. ahhem. Then again, maybe I won't.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Andy (Andrew)
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posted 09 January 2006 08:36 PM      Profile for Andy (Andrew)   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I grew up with reading materials censored. Even this year some of my reading assignments had to be changed because the required reading wasn't ok.
From: Alberta | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
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posted 09 January 2006 08:56 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Andy (Andrew):
I grew up with reading materials censored. Even this year some of my reading assignments had to be changed because the required reading wasn't ok.

It seems to me that by the time one reaches high school, one cannot be 'hurt' by literature. A book full of Penthouse Forum letters, ok, you hide that under your mattress, but anything that can withstand even a pretence of serious study is inherently harmless by that age, IMO.

Edited for misuse of the word 'pretension.'

[ 09 January 2006: Message edited by: Tape_342 ]


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Andy (Andrew)
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posted 09 January 2006 09:03 PM      Profile for Andy (Andrew)   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am not saying it's a good thing but it happens.
From: Alberta | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Andrew_Jay
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posted 09 January 2006 10:14 PM      Profile for Andrew_Jay        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tape_342:
It seems to me that by the time one reaches high school, one cannot be 'hurt' by literature. A book full of Penthouse Forum letters, ok, you hide that under your mattress, but anything that can withstand even a pretension of serious study is inherently harmless by that age, IMO.
Sure, that makes sense for rational people, but reading through the Canadian list and the reasons given, so many are complaints about high school curriculum - the same goes for the U.S.

From: Extremism is easy. You go right and meet those coming around from the far left | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
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posted 10 January 2006 01:08 AM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In terms of censorship of reading materials, I remember a high school English class where we were assigned to read "The Canterbury Tales" but told we were NOT allowed to read "The Wife of Bath" or "The Nun's Priest's Tale".

I've never understood whether they thought they could enforce that particular rule, or whether that was a kind of "nudge nudge, wink wink" move on the part of the instructor.

[ 10 January 2006: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]


From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Andy (Andrew)
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posted 11 January 2006 02:08 PM      Profile for Andy (Andrew)   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not able to read anything by Margaret Laurence, John Steinbeck, etc. The list goes on. There are probably 5-6 students in my class which is 33 who are not able to read all of the required reading. Guess that doesn't make it required, huh?
From: Alberta | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 11 January 2006 02:29 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here is an interesting history of the Roman Catholic Index, begun in 1557.

Look at that list. Looks like an honour roll, don't it.

In the mid-C20, just about every major contemporary author had legal troubles in North America somewhere, some time or other, but most famous, and also in England, were the great legal battles over D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover.

There were court cases everywhere. The wonderful thing about them was that they gave rise to a number of brilliant essays, sometimes statements from the stand by other great writers of the day.

In Canada, Lady Chatterley was famously defended by the great lawyer, poet, and constitutional expert F.R. Scott:

quote:

I went to bat for the Lady Chatte
Dressed in my bib and gown.
The judges three glared down at me
The priests patrolled the town.

My right hand shook as I reached for that book
And rose to play my part.
For out on the street were the marching feet
Of the League of the Sacred Heart.

The word "obscene" was supposed to mean
"Undue exploitation of sex."
This wording's fine for your needs and mine
But it's far too free for Quebec's.


· · ·

Oh Letters and Law are found in the raw
And found on the heights sublime,
But D.H. Lawrence would view with abhorrence
This Jansenist pantomime.


(Sorry: can't find better, full version online.)


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy Shanks
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posted 11 January 2006 02:31 PM      Profile for Tommy Shanks     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That ALA list of the 100 most frequently banned books contains most of the usual suspects associated with moronic efforts like this. But wft:

quote:
88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford

From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
googlymoogly
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posted 11 January 2006 04:16 PM      Profile for googlymoogly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
About the Waldo book, apparently in one of the books there is a little tiny drawing of a topless woman on a beach. Seriously, that's why.
From: the fiery bowels of hell | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 11 January 2006 05:26 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh my gawd!!!!!!A topless woman. The horror, the horror.
My grandkidlets are crazy about these books. Aha now I know why.

From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 11 January 2006 06:06 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When I was in grade 9 or 10 we read "Une saison dans la vie d'Emmanuelle."

Same-sex teenage incest and a masochistic priest asking a boy to whip him.


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michael Watkins
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posted 11 January 2006 06:20 PM      Profile for Michael Watkins   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not a book but timely - Surrey School Board mentioned on CBC radio this morning, for their banning of "The Laramie Project" - School Board Chided for Cancelling School Play

Meanwhile, Vancouver has put quite an effort into going ahead with it. Memo to self, never consider moving to Surrey from Vancouver, even if Vancouver did elect a dick head as School Board Trustee.

Interesting, from a Lord Byng (Vancouver) principles message in Dec 2005:

quote:

PRINCIPAL¿S MESSAGE
On November 30th, 2005, The Vancouver Sun covered an event at Lord Byng which is one of many events planned as the school prepares for our first Drama production of this school year - The Laramie Project. This play, by Moises Kaufman, is the story of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was murdered in Laramie. Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theatre Production Company spent one year in Laramie interviewing residents of the town and the play, in the words of the community, explores the town¿s reaction to the murder and explores individuals¿ feelings and beliefs. Mr. Kaufman, while at Byng, spoke with our students, answering their questions and encouraging them in their performance.

Unfortunately, there was some negative press around the play when the Surrey School Board banned the production of it. Our students began considering this play in the Spring of last year. The production at Byng is not in response to the action of Surrey, but rather the wish of students and staff to produce a play about issues that are real to students at Byng, which will also start conversations in a safe, respectful environment. Two of the issues addressed in the play are homophobia and hate. To ensure that this project is a learning experience for our school community, a Steering Committee was formed to develop a framework and time line. As ¿Theatre for Education¿, we are providing opportunities for learning for students, staff and parents.


Newwsletter (PDF)

[ 11 January 2006: Message edited by: Michael Watkins ]


From: Vancouver Kingway - Democracy In Peril | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
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posted 11 January 2006 06:23 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RealityBites:
When I was in grade 9 or 10 we read "Une saison dans la vie d'Emmanuelle."

Same-sex teenage incest and a masochistic priest asking a boy to whip him.


I read stuff like that when I was that age too... but not in school.


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
eau
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posted 11 January 2006 07:37 PM      Profile for eau        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I always remembered the Millers tale in Chaucer, wasn't the miller the man who sat with his butt hanging out the window...I admit it was a long time ago but I remember thinking it was rude at the time. We were all innocent then now..not so much.
From: BC | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 12 January 2006 09:02 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The miller tells the story about the lover who, ah, does that, as a trick played on another aspiring lover, who thinks the first guy's arse is the face of his beloved. Actually, I think the beloved also presents her backside at some point. Much fun ensues.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 13 January 2006 10:33 AM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
About the Waldo book, apparently in one of the books there is a little tiny drawing of a topless woman on a beach. Seriously, that's why.

Yep, I found the lady. She is topless as a kid has grabbed her bikini top. I wonder what other interesting things are going on at that beach.


From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
TemporalHominid
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posted 11 February 2006 03:22 PM      Profile for TemporalHominid   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Semaine de la liberté d'expression Freedom to read week

is coming up
February 26 to March 4, 2006

[ 11 February 2006: Message edited by: TemporalHominid ]


From: Under a bridge, in Foot Muck | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 23 February 2006 05:48 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Burch:
In terms of censorship of reading materials, I remember a high school English class where we were assigned to read "The Canterbury Tales" but told we were NOT allowed to read "The Wife of Bath" or "The Nun's Priest's Tale".

Good lord. You mean the Miller's was OK? I mean, that one involved not only sex but buttkissing with tongue and someone getting a red hot poker rammed up their . . .
It's a hilarious story, but I would have thought anyone getting their britches in a knot about the Nun's Priest's tale would have been totally nixing the Miller's.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
rob.leblanc
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posted 23 February 2006 08:21 PM      Profile for rob.leblanc     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Funny thing that I happened to have read this post now...

I'm at the University of Guelph and the big theme in the library is banned and challenged books.


From: Where am I? Where are YOU? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Kevin
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posted 23 February 2006 09:36 PM      Profile for Kevin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by eaucanada:
I always remembered the Millers tale in Chaucer, wasn't the miller the man who sat with his butt hanging out the window...I admit it was a long time ago but I remember thinking it was rude at the time. We were all innocent then now..not so much.

This particular tale is still a no-no in BC schools. Our grade 12 literature text has 'excerpts' from the Canterbury tales, and nicely skips the Miller.


From: Simon Fraser University | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged

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