Monday, September 16, 2013

They BANNED Which Book???

1. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford
Why: The book was banned and then reprinted because it originally showcased a topless beachgoer (not like anyone could find her if they tried, though).

2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Why: Everyone’s favorite childhood book was banned from a public library in Colorado because it was considered “sexist.” It was also challenged by several schools because it “criminalized the foresting agency.”

3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Why: Many religious individuals felt that L’Engle was too passive in her inclusion of Christian imagery. A foundation in Iowa even claimed that book had satanic themes. Other reasons for objecting to this title have included: One line places Ghandi as Jesus’s equal; in the 60’s it was believed to promote communism and had a strong female character which was no the norm at the time;  promotes witchcraft and magic; is too Christian thematically; others felt it did not have enough of a Christian theme.

4. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Why: The book was banned from an elementary School in Texas because it included the word “ass.”

5. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Why: The book was banned from several schools for being “a bad example for children.” It was also challenged for teaching “children to lie, spy, talk back, and curse.”

6. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Why: Forget anti-semitism; the 50th Anniversary “Definitive Edition’” was instead banned by a Virginia school because of its “sexual content and homosexual themes.” Additionally, the book was previously banned by several schools in the United States because it was “too depressing.” Most recently, in May of 2013, a Michigan mom tried to get the book banned due to its “pornographic tendencies.”

7. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Why: The book was banned from several classrooms in Pennsylvania on accounts of “profanity, disrespect for adults, and an elaborate fantasy world that might lead to confusion.” The book has also been banned by other schools for its use of the phrases “Oh Lord” and “Lord.”

8. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
Why: Similar to Winnie-the-Pooh, this book was banned in Kansas because talking animals are considered an “insult to god.”

9. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Why: Apparently there are references to sexual fantasies and masturbation in this book, resulting in its ban from classrooms in New Hampshire. Since this original banning, the book has been challenged by thousands of other institutions, most famously in the 1960s in fear that it would promote drug use to children.

10. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Why: The book has been banned for promoting poor behaviour: nailing a sheet into the wall to make a tent, chasing his dog with a fork, and screaming at his mother , and it has been challenged for promoting “witchcraft and supernatural events.”

11. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Why: A California school district banned the book and claimed that it “criminalized the foresting industry” and would thus persuade children against logging.

12. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Why: I missed the part where Sam I Am tried to seduce his friend, but the book was banned in California on accounts of “homosexual seduction.” It was also banned in China for “early Marxism” .

13. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Why: Public libraries in 1928 Chicago banned the book because of its “ungodly” influence “for depicting women in strong leadership roles.” In 1957, the Detroit Public Library banned the book for having “no value for children of today.”

14. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.
Why: The Texas State Board of Education briefly banned this picture book after confusing its author, Bill Martin, Jr., with philosopher Bill Martin, author of ‘Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation.’

15. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary
When: 2010
Why: The 10th edition was banned in several classrooms in California because it included the definition for “oral sex.”

16. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Why: Banned because it embraced a “poor philosophy of life. It was also challenged for comparing the Oompa Loompas to Africans. The depiction of Mr. Wonka’s Oompa Loompas in pre 1971 versions are depicted as dark skinned pygmy people who work for cocoa beans as opposed to moneyThe characters’ descriptions were later changed in an edited version in 1988.

17. Watership Down by Richard Adams
Why: Imagery of conflict and brutal realism through the book.


18. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Why: All the characters are animals.  When Sylvester goes missing his parents go to the police who are portrayed as pigs which some consider to be a slight against authority.

19.  In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
Why:  The main character Mickey has no clothes.  While this is part of the story it was deemed offensive. “reading the book could lay the foundation for future use of pornography.”
20.  The Family Book by Todd Parr
Why:  A book about the variety of ways a family can look, including single parents, same-sex parents and a mom-dad-child family, pages that state that some families have 2 moms and some have 2 dads were deemed to promote homosexuality

21.  and Tango Makes Three  by Justin Richardson
This picture book was the most frequently challenged and banned book of 2010, 2008, 2007 and 2006
Why:  This true tale of two male penguins at New York City’s Central Park Zoo who fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches sparked objections to homosexual themes in a children’s book.

Also challenged for presenting homosexual lifestyles to children are:
Daddy's Roommate  --  Michael Willhoite 
A young boy discusses his divorced father's new living situation, in which the father and his gay roommate share eating, doing chores, playing, loving, and living
Heather Has Two Mommies  --  Leslea Newman
When Heather goes to playgroup, at first she feels bad because she has two mothers and no father, but then she learns that there are lots of different kinds of families and the most important thing is that all the people love each other.
King & King  --  Linda de Haan & Stern Nijland
When the queen insists that the prince get married and take over as king, the search for a suitable mate does not turn out as expected

And lastly.. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
Why: Talking animals are somehow considered an “insult to god,” resulting in this book’s banning throughout random parts of the United States. Several institutions in Turkey and the UK have also banned the book, claiming that the character of Piglet is offensive to Muslims. Other institutions claim that the book revolves around Nazism.
Leon Neal / Getty Images

 As Pooh might say: “oh bother”.

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