Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Banned Books Week: Book Links That 'Speak' For Themselves

Continuing with the theme of Banned Books Week, I have decided to include links that speak for themselves, once you click on them. Since many people are aghast at the idea of BANNING some books from school libraries, I did some Googling, and came up with the following gems that actually make the case for me. I really don't need to state, once again, that certain books are inappropriate and harmful for children (and even young teens, from 13 to 15). Just click on this priceless collection of links, and you will simply see for yourself!  : )

Here's a quote from the article "Parents Say Book Inappropriate For Teens":

"Wando High School parent James Pasley says the book uses foul language, degrades women and people of color, and isn't appropriate to be on a recommended reading list for high school students." (Emphasis mine)

WOW. "....degrades women and people of color...." Yes, by all means, we need to teach our high school kids to be misogynists and White Supremacists.

Here's another telling quote from this article. 

"His wife read "The Hunt Club" and couldn't believe its contents, he said. Students shouldn't be recommended to read that kind of profanity or derogatory treatment of women and minorities, he said." (Emphasis mine)

Well, geez, why not? Aren't we supposed to be TOLERANT?! Of course we need to let our kids read such things! How will they know what epithets to hurl at which groups? How will they learn to express HATE properly?

Unfortunately, the parents in this particular case did not achieve their aim of having the book removed from use in the classroom, but they did get some result -- the book will now come with a warning note about its contents.

Anti-feminists and White Supremacists should be happy and proud. Now the poison comes with "a warning label", and people tend to ignore those.


  1. Hey Maria,

    My thinking on some of these "borderline" book banning issues is actually a bit in transition now. Partially due to your very thought provoking posts I am thinking a lot about these things and will likely have a more coherent position in a couple of weeks.

    One issue that concerns me is that there is a tendency for some folks, both on the right and left, to completely misconstrue the message behind a book. For instance, Huckleberry Finn, a very anti - racist book, is often called racist. Sometimes anti - racist and anti - sexist books depict racists and sexists doing very bad things. Some horror stories, though they depict terrible things, have a strong moral message.

    Thus I am leery about judging a book based on what a few people have said about it. I think that we need to be really careful in regards to this. Book banning could get very out of hand very quickly with some folks objecting to a lot of books for various reasons.

    Have a great week!

    1. Hey, Brian!

      First of all, thank you so much for complimenting my posts! Much appreciated!! <3 <3

      You raise a very important issue here. I, too, was shocked that "Huckleberry Finn" has been labeled by some people as a racist book. Granted, I've never read it, but, from what I know of Mark Twain, I think this labeling of his book could not be further from the truth! Yes, he used "the N word" in it, but that word was used a lot in his time, by racists. He was simply reflecting what was common among certain people in this time. That doesn't mean he condoned it, though.

      So I do agree with your statement that sometimes people -- on either end of the political spectrum -- can misconstrue an author's intent. Therefore, we readers have to be careful about condemning a book just because of what some other readers have said about it.

      I think the best way to double-check this -- short of reading the book itself -- is to go to Wikipedia, to see if a plot summary of the book in question is available. I have found Wikipedia book synopses to be very thorough in detail. It's also helpful, to some extent, to check out the book's reviews. I have just gone over to Goodreads to check out this book's reviews, and skimmed over some of them. I do need more time to investigate, but so far, I have seen some mixed reviews. I will also be checking out the Amazon reviews.



      Another challenged book comes to mind: "To Kill A Mockingbird", which I did read years ago. I also saw the movie. This book, too, has its share of instances of "the N word". In that book, as well, this reflects the tenor of the times. I used to admire this novel as a great, anti-racist masterpiece. Now, I'm not so sure.

      Although I read it years ago, I do remember the main outlines of the plot. The book is really mostly about Atticus Finch and his daughter, "Scout". Both of them are white. The man Atticus defends, Tom Robinson, remains, at best, a shadowy figure. We never learn much about him or his family. And, if I remember correctly, he ends up committing suicide. So now I have my reservations about this novel. I would have to re-read it in order to reach a more informed opinion of it, but my statement here is based on a couple of online articles I read about it, several months ago.

      I don't think a novel should be labeled as "racist" or "derogatory" to women and/or minorities just because of the attitudes of some of the characters toward these two mistreated groups. So your point is a valid one. I guess I would actually have to read "The Hunt Club" to see if the challenge presented by these parents is indeed a valid one.

      Having stated all of the above, I think the question of the book's appropriateness for the particular age group mentioned in this article has to be considered. This book was part of a recommended reading list for high school juniors. These are kids who would be around 16 to 17 years old. I do think that kids that age would be able to pick up on an author's true intent in presenting incidents of discriminatory behavior in his/her book. Some of these kids, though, might not have this ability, and could very well take in these incidents as behavior that should be emulated.

      I'd like to thank you for always being willing to dialogue with me regarding controversial issues. You always remain civil, and use logic. I GREATLY appreciate that, Brian!! I think other bloggers reading my posts may have misinterpreted my comments. I am actually against book banning. I just think that certain books should not be available to certain age groups, because of the possibility of harmful influences on the minds of the kids in those age groups. So this shouldn't really be called "banning". Perhaps a better term would be "restriction due to inappropriateness for age group".

      A useful possibility might be to give books ratings, as is done for movies. So this means that books receiving an "R" rating would not be available for those under 17. I think this would be very reasonable. Just as kids are not allowed to see certain things in movies, they should not be allowed to read them in books, either.

      I think that the term "book banning" is intentionally being used by some on the Left in order to actually stifle any valid objections to a book, in the interest of free speech. But, in order to have free speech, it's necessary for individuals to have a certain level of intellectual as well as emotional maturity. Is this the case with kids? It might be for some kids, especially those who are gifted. Even then, though, you just can't compare the mind of a 15-year-old, for instance, to that of a 40-year-old.

      This is a fascinating topic, and I think I'll write more on it, but on my other blog, "MindSpirtit Book Journeys".

      Thanks for another TERRIFIC, thought-provoking comment!! Hope you're having a great week!! <3 :)


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