Why Are Books Banned? – An Opinion

You would think reading is good regardless of what it is you are reading. We have come a long way since the days when books were burned. But what causes a book to be banned?

There are many reasons why books get banned; but the most common is controversy. Who decides what’s controversial? The answer to that is: governments, libraries & school systems to name a few. Book content should be considered a form of speech and for such it shouldn’t be banned unless they put people’s life in danger. The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees our right to free speech, which includes the right to read and write books that might be considered by some to be too violent, hateful, or offensive. It should be our decision and our right to choose what to read.

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy. ~Edward P. Morgan

Perhaps if the same effort to banned books was put into other things such as promote reading & writing; our educational system wouldn’t be considered “average” compare to other countries in the world.

Promote reading, give your kids, friends and family the ability to choose what they want to read. Let them come to their own conclusions, challenge them to think, provide them with the necessary resources to broaden their minds and remember that reading is good for the brain.

Below, you will find a list of books and idiotic reasons why they have been banned.

Books Reason
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Too depressing
Blubber, by Judy Blume The characters curse and the mean-spirited ringleader is never punished for her cruelty.
Bony-Legs, by Joanna Cole Deals with subjects such as magic and witchraft.
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier Offensive language.
Confessions of an Only Child, by Norma Klein Use of profanity by the lead character’s father.
Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh Teaches children to lie, spy, talk back, and curse.
Harry Potter books, by J. K. Rowling They promote witchcraft, set bad examples, and are too dark.
A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich, by Alice Childress Anti-American and immoral.
The House without a Christmas Tree, by Gail Rock Uses the word damn.
In a Dark, Dark Room, and Other Scary Stories, by Alvin Schwartz Too morbid for children.
A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein A suggestive illustration that might encourage kids to break dishes so they won’t have to dry them.

Other books that have been banned/burned/challenged are:

  • The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway: Banned in Boston, MA (1930), Ireland (1953), Riverside, CA (1960), San Jose, CA (1960). Burned in Nazi bonfires in Germany (1933).
  • Catch-22, by Joseph Heller: Banned in Strongsville, OH (1972), but the school board’s action was overturned in 1976 by a U.S. District Court in Minarcini v. Strongsville City School District.
  • 1984, by George Orwell: Challenged in the Jackson County, FL (1981) because Orwell’s novel is “pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter.”
  • The Color Purple, by Alice Walker: Challenged in Burke County (2008) schools in Morgantown, NC by parents concerned about the homosexuality, rape, and incest portrayed in the book.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee: Removed (2009) from the St. Edmund Campion Secondary School classrooms in Brampton Ontario, Canada because a parent objected to language used in the novel, including the word “nigger.”
  • The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien: Burned in Alamagordo, NM (2001) outside Christ Community Church along with other Tolkien novels as satanic.

Do you read  banned books? If so, which would you recommend that isn’t listed above?

Book List Source: “ALA – American Library Association“.

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