Banned Books Weeks is next week.
I am not a fan of banning books that do not, for example, contain detailed instructions on how to make methamphetimines in the basement. (I’m not actually for banning those, either, but I can at least understand why you wouldn’t want ‘em in the school library.) Like, I’d assume, the vast majority of my readership, I am deeply opposed to banning books. There’s something really…</i>patronizing</i> about trying to ban books. We can make a case for evil, too, but definitely patronizing. And that really chafes my hide.
Also, y’know, the usual–you don’t do anybody any favors by trying to hide information from them. Banning books because they describe racism, for example, does not prevent racism, it just makes people ignorant about its existence. It’s the ultimate head-in-the-sand game.
But you all know that already, and I’m just preachin’ to the choir.
And so, as seen around LJ, the top 100 banned books of the last decade!
Some of these baffle me utterly. I mean, sure. Anything with gay stuff is gonna be controversial. I may not approve of people trying to ban it, but I can see why they would. Same for all the adult sex manuals. And “Huck Finn” may be a great American classic, but I can see it being a problem among people who fail to see Twain’s terribly humane handling of the whole issue because they’re blinded by the vernacular. (And hell, they’ve been trying to ban that one for years.) And Catcher in the Rye is practically a shoo-in.
Some of these, though…”The Night Kitchen”? I LOVED that book! I had it memorized as a small child! “James and the Giant Peach”? I mean, I’ll buy that Roald Dahl is inherently somewhat subversive, but I don’t recall much sex and death in that one. “A Light in the Attic”? “Where’s Waldo”? “Julie of the Wolves”? (Someone said that one’s banned because there’s menstruation. Um. HUH? Do they think this is something that girls won’t do if they don’t read about it? Whazzup with that?)