BBW 2011: “Bad” Books I’ve Read Since BBW 2010

~~Banned Books Week (BBW) 2011 takes place September 24th-October 1st~~

In the past year (since Banned Books Week 2010), I have read ten books that have made the Top 100 Challenged Books for 1990-1999 and 2000-2009.

1) James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

2-6) five of the seven Harry Potter books by JK Rowling (#1-4, 7)

7-9) the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (the site only said The Hunger Games, so I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be the first or all three books)

10) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I know some of the challenges to To Kill a Mockingbird, as they are listed here. And I discussed them at length in my previous post, “BBW 2011: To Kill a Mockingbird thoughts.”

And I can guess that the reason a lot of adults challenge Harry Potter is because of the wizardry/witchcraft aspect; and maybe the dangerous situations Harry gets into, even fatal for some characters, aren’t “okay” for younger readers. I know my mom banned them in my childhood house because she apparently thought my sisters and I were too dimwitted to understand that Harry Potter is a boy from a story and that stories aren’t real.

But, as far as The Hunger Games goes, I’m really have a hard time trying to figure out what’s wrong with them. Katniss does find herself in some perilous situations and there’s that teenagers-all-trying-to-kill-each-other bit, which can be graphic. Now that I think about it, those “graphic” situations are quite worse in this than in Harry Potter. But I would have to say that I think the picture of the future of the world from this perspective would be the most controversial thing (at least in my mind). I mean, if I didn’t realize the difference between fiction and reality, I would be pretty worried that the world would come to the conditions described in this dystopic novel–moreso because those conditions led to all that violence. Okay, I can see that some adults might feel this is inappropriate for some younger readers. But, you know what? Worry about your own young reader, like my mom did when I was young. Ban it in your own house. It’s not your duty or right to keep someone else’s child/student from reading a book you think isn’t right. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system… 🙂

Oh, and I honestly don’t know what could be bad about James and the Giant Peach. Anyone want to enlighten me as to what could be wrong with such a fantastical story as living in a peach. If you don’t think it’s possible to live in a giant peach, you’ll probably understand any of the bit of violence towards James mentioned at the beginning of the story isn’t a violence in reality.

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3 thoughts on “BBW 2011: “Bad” Books I’ve Read Since BBW 2010

  1. Your mom banned Harry Potter in the house? That’s so weird … I think parents need to give their kids a bit more credit sometimes! Of course you can tell the difference between fiction and non fiction, even as a kid! I think most parents who are against Harry Potter are the really religious kind, who think magic is the devil’s work or something. It’s probably the same thing for James and the Giant Peach … But anyway, what your mom did is the best choice, I think — she didn’t like it, so she stopped her own kids from reading it. She didn’t try to parent everyone else’s children too.

    As for The Hunger Games, I can sort of see why they want to ban it for the violence but frankly, in my opinion, that’s a pretty weak reason, considering how much violence is on TV and in movies. And maybe it’s just because I read books that are far more violent at times, but The Hunger Games’ level of violence feels pretty tame to me. I mean, nobody’s throats were being cut or heads being blown apart … (I’m reading Battle Royale right now, which is definitely much bloodier).

    Anyway, I completely agree with your statement: “It’s not your duty or right to keep someone else’s child/student from reading a book you think isn’t right.” Some people, I guess, just feel so strongly that they want to change the world, but banning a book is so drastic …

    • Kristie says:

      My mom did claim that it was because of witchcraft being the “devil’s work” that she didn’t want us reading Harry Potter. But, oddly enough, she pretty much didn’t show any other very religious signs growing up. I rather think that she was selectively religious 🙂

      As for the Hunger Games, I think that it’s pretty age appropriate. I mean, what 7 year old is even going to WANT to read the Hunger Games? It’s above their comprehension level anyways, so I don’t think it would even need banned on that premise.

  2. Ooh, I just want to add that I understand that obviously you don’t want a five year old reading something like The Hunger Games — I mean, assuming the book is appropriate for the age group, there is no reason why a parent should ban their fifteen year old kid from reading it, for example. Fifteen year olds surely can differentiate between fiction and non fiction by that age, and handle the themes in the book. If they are uncomfortable reading it, I’m sure they’ll just stop.

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