As an author who writes on topics some might feel are “controversial” I worry that should I ever be traditionally published, some of my works may end up on challenged or banned lists. I bet you’re probably thinking “ooh only classic out dated works that have words like nigger in it get banned.” That’s hardly the case. Yes, there are some great classics with that type of language on the banned list, but I bet you’d be surprised by some of the recent, well known, best sellers that have been challenge.
Firstly, what’s the difference between banned and challenged books?
Challenged Books: Books that people are trying to remove or restrict from schools, libraries, ect.
Banned Books: If a group of people challenge a book and they win, then the book is banned and removed from public spaces like schools, libraries, ect.
(Thanks to epicreads.com for the info!)
So let’s go over some books that you may have read that people have tried to get banned from schools and libraries:
Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence
His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman. Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling . Reasons: occult/Satanism
Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson. Reason: occult/Satanism, offensive language
Those are just a few that you probably know, have read and very likely enjoyed. Now, imagine you’re a huge Twilight or Harry Potter fan and you go to the library to take out the latest book only to have the sad librarian tell you that the series was pulled because the people believed the books to be inappropriate. Would you be a happy camper? I doubt it.
First of all, I don’t think anyone has the right to tell others what they can and can’t read. Should parents monitor what their kids are reading? Sure, but I think that’s a parent’s job not societies’ job to say what they feel is appropriate for their kids. I also think parents and schools have to teach kids the difference between fact and fiction and remind them that things happen in books because an author writes them that way.
Books can be educational, an escape, a wake up call, a friend, an inspiration and a revelation. Somehow, I think Harry Potter books turned a whole hell of a lot of kids, and adults, onto reading rather than occult practices.
Banning books hurts readers more than the reasons people think they should be banned for. Help support the cause. Read banned books. Share banned books. Tweet and Facebook messages that this is Banned Book week and ask others to do the same. These works of literature deserve to be read and enjoyed. People should be able to learn from them, escape the troubles of their own lives with them and share their stories with others.