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Author Topic: What you aren't reading
Rundler
editor
Babbler # 2699

posted 02 October 2006 08:27 AM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Or, at least, what some people would like you not to read. This year's American Library Association list of banned books and the complains against them:

http://www.abffe.org/bbw-booklist-detailed.htm


From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
clersal
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 370

posted 02 October 2006 09:00 AM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
A classic.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and another.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Oh dear.
And again, Black Boy by Richard Wright

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver.
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.

Is this all since the shrub is president? I cannot be bothered to go on with the list as it is already disgusting. I have a feeling that the parents have never heard their little darlings talking among themselves!

[ 02 October 2006: Message edited by: clersal ]


From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1275

posted 02 October 2006 10:37 AM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In Toronto, our children aren't reading Three Wishes, thanks to a successful campaign of censorship by the Canadian Jewish Congress.

Can't have our kids understanding that there's two sides to the story in the middle east, can we?

quote:
In a March 3, 2006, letter to the Toronto District School Board, PEN Canada stated, "Often the very best literary work pokes light into dark places, and freedom of expression, inquiry and opinion is a cornerstone of our democratic society. Another cornerstone, of course, is an education system which promotes open discussion, learning, and debate . . . [W]e urge you to consider what kind of message you would be sending to children if you withhold this work. You would be admitting that the school system is unable to deal with difficult topics, that educators would prefer that students turn their eyes away rather than read the words of children from war-torn cultures. You would be taking away an important tool for helping students and teachers discuss, explore and hopefully come to some sort of understanding about issues like violence, oppression, poverty and deadly national disputes. These are not issues solely reserved for Palestine and Israel, of course - they knock on doors here in Canada too, as you well know."
The story here.

[ 02 October 2006: Message edited by: Lard Tunderin' Jeezus ]


From: ... | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
morningstar
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12378

posted 02 October 2006 03:42 PM      Profile for morningstar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
this nonsense has gone on for so long. when we lived in california, years ago, dr. seus's childrens book 'the lorax' was banned--the forestry industry didn't like it.
it's so political---amazing how fear of ideas and freedom of speech still runs so deep.
it seems to be a vestige of religions' willingness to suppress learning and ideas.

From: stratford, on | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
indiemuse
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 12564

posted 02 October 2006 04:12 PM      Profile for indiemuse     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tears are quite literally coming to my eyes as I read that list . . .

quote:
The Giver by Lois Lowry

Blue Valley School District in Kansas reviewed this futuristic novel about a young man’s growing disillusionment with an outwardly utopian society, following parent complaints that it was “lewd” and “twisted.” Parents also claimed it is “unfit for analysis by students because it is violent, sexually explicit and portrays infanticide and euthanasia.” One parent said, “This book is negative. I read it. I don't see the academic value in it. Everything presented to the kids should be positive or historical, not negative.” The novel, which has been compared to Brave New World, won the Newbery Medal in 1994. Proponents of the ban are asking that the book be removed from the entire district’s eighth grade reading list (1/6/05).


This was one a common favorite when I was in school, certainly it was one of mine. As if it isn't enough that this is a book that children ENJOY reading - this book is a wonderful starting off point for kids to start thinking about values, humanity, pain, greed and so much more - GREAT for analytical discussions.

There is also a disturbing, though not really all that surprising number of books that are banned for ". . . promoting a homosexual agenda . . . promotes gay pride and a rejection of heterosexism"

[ 02 October 2006: Message edited by: indiemuse ]


From: The exception to every rule . . . | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
mayakovsky
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5171

posted 02 October 2006 05:03 PM      Profile for mayakovsky     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It was my understanding that the Harry Potter series had met the most challenges in the past year. It was in a CBC story that I cannot find at the moment. I must admit I have never read 'The Catcher in The Rye', which always makes these lists. It always seemed to so overrated to me even when I was at the age where it might have been relevant, like bad beat literature. Have I missed anything?

There is a very interesting element to many of these challenges. For the most part core reading lists don't change (poor english teachers!) ie: we have all read 'The Great Gatsby', what this seems to mean is that those presenting the challenges have been waiting around to make their complaints. Or they all got some of that old time religion in the meantime. In Canadian lists of challenged books we often see Margaret Laurence though oddly enough never Mordecai Richler for 'The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz' which is also on many Canadian reading lists. Alas, its got humour in it so I imagine many people don't think its Canadian literature.


From: New Bedford | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Gollygee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13258

posted 02 October 2006 05:10 PM      Profile for Gollygee        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We shouldn't be so smug. It's less of an issue what books are banned as much as what plots or themes would never be published. I'm sure we can all think of a dozen plots that wouldn't be accepted in Canadian librairies and especially in schools. Right or wrong, we even have 'hate laws'.

Every society has its taboos and we are just too close to our own beliefs to always recognize them. I'm not a fan of censorship but like many people I can list exceptions where I think censorship is valid. These exceptions are part of my belief system and may not be any more justified than the exceptions in someone else's belief system.


From: Creston, BC | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Gollygee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13258

posted 02 October 2006 05:18 PM      Profile for Gollygee        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mayakovsky:
I must admit I have never read 'The Catcher in The Rye', which always makes these lists. It always seemed to so overrated to me even when I was at the age where it might have been relevant, like bad beat literature. Have I missed anything?

For the most part core reading lists don't change (poor english teachers!) ie: we have all read 'The Great Gatsby', what this seems to mean is that those presenting the challenges have been waiting around to make their complaints.


I'm a voracious reader but didn't like or relate to either of those books. And I despise that they were thrust upon us when there were thousands of other novels that would have sparked more interest in young readers. For some reason we had to read Dicken's most 'blah' novel, Great Expectations, when almost everything else written by Dickens is more captivating to the young mind.

[ 02 October 2006: Message edited by: Gollygee ]


From: Creston, BC | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Rundler
editor
Babbler # 2699

posted 03 October 2006 09:48 AM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's another story about Three Wishes, mentioned above, from rabble's book lounge: http://www.rabble.ca/reviews/review.shtml?x=49277
From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
Volunteer Moderator
Babbler # 8938

posted 04 October 2006 05:08 AM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
mayakovsky, I recently re-read Catcher in the Rye, and aside from swearing and some sexual-type exploits, there's nothing in there that's a problem. Except for the issue of an aimless rich privileged young man who keeps flunking out of school, but that's not why it's on those lists. It's also very dated.

And as far as reading lists, thanks to standardized testing, in Ontario at least, teachers in schools can't change reading lists, they are stuck with the curriculum as decreed by the board. They could add some new titles, but I wonder how often that happens.

Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer are banned, I assume, because of the liberal use of the "N" word, but how did that come about? And why? Because the use of the word is offensive, especially as part of someone's name? Or because a voting block needed to be appeased? Easier to ban a book than actually try to reduce racism, hm? I say this as a cynical anti-racist activist of course.

Here in Canada, isn't "Heather has Two Mommies" still banned in BC schools?

For me, since this conversation has shifted to what's been deemed "appropriate" to have in schools for children, it's a lot more offensive that Canadian history is still being taught from a colonial perspective, that racism and sexism pervade the texts and classrooms, either perpetuated or unchallenged by teachers. But that's me.


From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4019

posted 04 October 2006 10:27 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mayakovsky:
There is a very interesting element to many of these challenges. For the most part core reading lists don't change (poor english teachers!) ie: we have all read 'The Great Gatsby', what this seems to mean is that those presenting the challenges have been waiting around to make their complaints. Or they all got some of that old time religion in the meantime. In Canadian lists of challenged books we often see Margaret Laurence though oddly enough never Mordecai Richler for 'The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz' which is also on many Canadian reading lists. Alas, its got humour in it so I imagine many people don't think its Canadian literature.

Ach! The Great Gatsby brings me such pain. Fitzgerald is such a brilliant writer, but I guess I just don't care what rich white people do (especially since the predominant and in some cases quite explicit homosexual presence is always effaced when this book is studied in a high school setting). I guess that's also why The Catcher in the Rye is kind of boring now too (although it kind of pains me to say it, since I loved it as a young, white, privileged, angsty teenager).

But seriously, where is Mordecai when it comes to the Canadian Literature component in high school? Duddy Kravitz is fucking amazing, and totally digestible and relevant. Where is Mistry, or Leonard Cohen, Alice Munro or P.K. Page? Why do we always have to read A Separate Peace and not In the Skin of a Lion? No wonder everyone thinks Canadian Literature is shitty: the shitty books are the only ones we ever have to read...

Edited to add: that Toni Morrison is on that list at least three times is a crime against humanity. I can't even stand reading lists like that--why does evolution vs intelligent design always make the press, but idiot schools like this who ban some of the greatest contributions to humanity never warrant a mention?

[ 04 October 2006: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged

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