Banned Book Recommendation | DAY SIX

It’s banned book week! This week, September 22nd-28th, I’ll be sharing with you some banned book recommendations. If you don’t know what a banned book is, here’s a little definition: A banned book is one that has been removed from the shelves of a library, bookstore, or classroom because of its controversial content. I’ll be highlighting one book per day and telling you why they’re banned.

Here’s the tag for all my banned book week posts!

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

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“Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.”

Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 328 pages
Published on: February 26th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 1250012570 (ISBN13: 9781250012579)

Why is it challenged?

I literally had no clue that this book was challenged and considered a banned book. I’ve read this book twice and I genuinely love it. But, it’s considered a banned book. Here are the reasons:

  • profanity
  • pornography
If I remember clearly, Eleanor and Park is far away from smut. But, it was pulled from schools for it’s “vile” and “nasty” language and it’s “trash” content. (You’ve got to be kidding me, right?)

Here’s what some articles say:

“During the 2013 challenge in Minnesota, Anoka High School principal Mike Farley explained to the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the novel mirrors some of the same situations students find themselves in.

Author Rainbow Rowell
Photo credit: RainbowRowell.com’

“We did acknowledge some of the language is rough, but it fits the situation and the characters. I deal with this stuff every day working in the school with students. Did I think the language was rough? Yes,” Farley said. “There is some tough stuff in there, but a lot of the stuff our kids are dealing with is tough.”

The parents challenged the book’s selection for school libraries, calling it “vile profanity.” They cited 227 uses of profanity or the Lord’s name in vain, including 60 instances of the “F” word.

“It’s is the most profane and obscene work we have ever read in our lives,” said one parent, Troy Cooper, to the Star Tribune.

In 2016, incensed Chesterfield parents were joined by Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase in demanding that Eleanor & Park be removed from voluntary summer reading lists, calling the books “pornographic” and filled with “vile, vile, nasty language.”

Ultimately, based on the recommendation of the review committee, Superintendent James Lane concluded that the book would not be banned. But it also can not be recommended. No books can be recommended by anyone in the Chesterfield County School District. Summer reading lists can no longer be distributed to students by teachers or librarians.”

 

 

Rainbow on Eleanor & Park being challenged: 

“Kids here have the right to read. They have the right to think and imagine. To see their own world in books. To see other worlds in books.” – Rainbow Rowell

She also shares a bunch of links here that I found on her website (I copied and pasted her exact words and links so by I, it mean’s Rainbow):

 

Source: https://www.oif.ala.org/oif/?p=9248

Books You Probably Didn’t Know Were Banned

This is an archived post. This original one has been deleted since it was on my old blog. Enjoy!

Guess what all of these books have in common? They’re all banned.

 Banned books are books or printed writing that has been removed from libraries, schools, bookstores, etc. due to controversial content. A book can be challenged by a parent whose child is attending a school and has a book on their curriculum/in their library. While these books do become banned, there’s a large population of people who disagree. 

Let’s talk about some books you probably didn’t know are banned (and you’ll definitely upset at the reasons why). 

  • Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

If you’ve read Perks of Being a Wallflower, you can probably guess the reasons why it’s banned. There’s sexual explicit content constantly throughout the book but it still remains an important read. This book was banned for several different reasons but the main ones being:

  • homosexuality
  • date rape
  • glorification and use of drugs and alcohol
  • sexual content (masturbation)


Yes, books are being banned for homosexual content in 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately. 

  • Looking for Alaska by John Green

John Green will forever fight against the book being banned. This book being banned is quite shocking because I’ve read it and couldn’t exactly come up with a reason on why it was taken out of schools and challenged over and over again. It’s banned for reasons like:

  • inappropriate language (cursing)
  • use of drugs + alcohol
  • pornography 
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I literally had no clue that this book was challenged and considered a banned book. I’ve read this book twice and I genuinely love it. But, it’s considered a banned book. Here are the reasons:

  • profanity 
  • pornography


If I remember clearly, Eleanor and Park is far away from smut. But, it was pulled from schools for it’s “vile” and “nasty” language and it’s “trash” content. (You’ve got to be kidding me, right?)

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

I’ve read Sherman Alexie’s work in school before and never had a problem with it. I’ve also owned this book for years and had no idea it was banned. It remains on several lists of banned books and has been challenged multiple times. But, why? 

  • excerpts on masturbation
  • vulgarity
  • racism
  • anti-Christian content
  • encouraging pornography

Yes, you heard that right. It was banned and a reason stated that it was due to it’s anti-Christian content. 

  • Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J.K. Rowling

Now, I knew this book was banned for ridiculous reasons. But, there’s still some people out there who have no idea. If you’ve read Harry Potter and didn’t know it was banned, I’m assuming you’d be clueless as to why it’s a banned and challenged book. Well, it’s for things like:

  • inappropriate language
  • glorifying magic and the occult
  • violence
  • religious reasons

Basically, I grew up hearing that Harry Potter is a banned book due to it’s glorification of witch craft. Again, yes, you heard that right. *sigh*

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give was published in 2017 and remained on the New York Times young adult best-sellers list for weeks on end. It’s won the National Book Award for young people’s literature and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in fiction. It was one of the most talked about books of last year and to this date. It’s clearly inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and covers the very important current topic of police brutality. It’s even currently being turned into a film. But, it’s been recently banned.

  • foul language 
  • “normalized sexual activity”
  • use of drugs

Despite the banning, the book still remains in some schools and is taught to be a very important book. The author herself even spoke out about the banning on Twitter but remains inspired to write.

As you can see, books that are banned are usually significant in their times. They discuss topics that we should be exposed to and understand. It’s unfortunate that these books are banned and considered wrong to parents and others, but people still have access to them. If you look at your own bookshelves, I’m sure you’ll find several if not many books that are already banned or being challenged. Can you guess why?

If you guys know any books that you think I’d be shocked to hear they’re banned, let me know!

I’ve listed some sources I’ve used below but feel free to correct me if I misspoke on anything!

Sources:

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