Canada Celebrates

 

It’s Freedom To read Week in Canada.  I had fun going to The Forbidden Library and reading all the books that have been challenged or banned and the lame-ass reasons why.  The writer occasionally added her own smartass comments and of course, so will I.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll. Ace; Bantam; Crown; Delacorte; Dover; NAL; Norton; Penguin; Random; St. Martin. Banned in China (1931) for portraying animals and humans on the same level, “Animals should not use human language.” Absolutly Not.

 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl. Bantam; Knopf; Penguin. Removed from a locked reference collection at the Boulder, Colo. Public Library (1988), where it had been placed because the librarian thought the book espoused a poor philosophy of life. 

James and the Giant Peach. Roald Dahl. ABC-Clio; Knopf. Challenged at the Deep Creek Elementary School in Charlotte Harbor, Fla. (1991) because it is “not appropriate reading material for young children.” Challenged at the Pederson Elementary School in Altoona, Wis. (1991) and at the Morton Elementary School library in Brooksville, Fla. (1992) because the book contains the word “ass” and “promotes” the use of drugs (tobacco, snuff) and whiskey. Removed from classrooms in Stafford County, Va. Schools (1995) and placed in restricted access in the library because the story contains crude language and encourages children to disobey their parents and other adults.  Geez parents, get a grip.  Have you no power over the influence of a giant peach?  Just wait til your kids get to High School, boobies and doobies galore!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. C.S. Lewis. Macmillan. Challenged in the Howard County, Md. school system (1990) because it depicts “graphic violence, mysticism, and gore.” I’m sure the school system would rather have its children reading something which adheres to “good Christian values.” I cannot recommend the works of C.S. Lewis highly enough. The Narnia books, in particular, are great for readers of all ages.  Yeah, thats just what the Jewish kids need…good Christian values…

Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Airmont; Bantam; Harper; Houghton; Macmillan; NAL. Challenged in the Waukegan, Ill. School District (1984) because the novel contains the word “nigger.” Never mind that the novel is often credited with raising public antislavery sentiment which ultimately led to the emancipation of American slaves.  Way to to miss the point people.

Where the Sidewalk Ends.Shel Silverstein. Harper. Challenged at the West Allis-West Milwaukee, Wis. school libraries (1986) because the book “suggests drug use, the occult, suicide, death, violence, disrespect for truth, disrespect for legitimate authority, rebellion against parents.” Challenged at the Central Columbia School District in Bloomsburg, Pa. (1993) because a poem titled “Dreadful” talks about how “someone ate the baby.” On the other hand, this book does present the negative consequences of not taking the garbage out.  I will not argue with this one.  Children’s poetry is true evil.

Where’s Waldo? Martin Handford. Little. Challenged at the Public Libraries of Saginaw, Mich. (1989), Removed from the Springs Public School library in East Hampton, N.Y. (1993) because there is a tiny drawing of a woman lying on the beach wearing a bikini bottom but no top. Yes, but did they find Waldo?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? I MEAN ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!

A Wrinkle In Time. Madeleine L’Engle. Dell. Challenged at the Polk City, Fla. Elementary School (1985) by a parent who believed that the story promotes witchcraft, crystal balls, and demons. Challenged in the Anniston Ala. schools (1990). The complainant objected to the book’s listing the name of Jesus Christ together with the names of great artists, philosophers, scientists, and religious leaders when referring to those who defend earth against evil. Got it. Let’s cross Jesus off that list, shall we? 

Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings. D.T. Suzuki. Doubleday. Challenged at the Plymouth-Canton school system in Canton, Mich. (1987) because “this book details the teachings of the religion of Buddhism in such a way that the reader could very likely embrace its teachings and choose this as his religion.” The last thing we need are a bunch of peaceful Buddhists running around. The horror.

The details listed below are excerpts taken from the Banned Books Resource Guide by the American Library Association, and Ready Reference Censorship, Copyright 1997, Salem Press (ed. Lawrence Amey et al.). Pithy comments have been added by Janet Yanokso.

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6 Responses to “Canada Celebrates”

  1. Ok, this cracked me up. A Wrinkle in Time was my favorite book when I was a kid and I bought the series for my niece last year. And as for C.S. Lewis, did they get the point of the book? How much more Christian symbolism can you get? Not to mention the rest of the Christian themed books he wrote that analyze Christianity to death!

  2. A naked woman in Where’s Waldo?! The horrors!

    I’ve never read A Wrinkle in Time but I gave a copy to my niece once – little did I know the immorality I was exposing her to!

  3. Michelle – I loved a Wrinkle in Time too. Didn’t Karen Authement turn us on to that book???? We must have read that at around the same time right?? I’m glad you said that about the C.S. lewis books, I thought that was the case but was not sure. I’m not a big fan of that genre so I really didn’t know for sure.

    Lesley – Can you believe it??? Waldo’s a dirty boy, and yes, your neice is now ruined.

  4. I think CS Lewis was Catholic actually. My husband has read almost all of his books and loves that spiritually philosophical stuff. And I don’t remember who turned me on to A Wrinkle in Time, but it was around 4th or 5th grade when I read that series. I need to read those again to check the theory of whether it ruined me!

  5. It makes you wonder when people that stupid and uninformed are making decisions about children’s education…

  6. Banned books lists always end up being real head scratchers. Some banned books are obvious to look at and understand why the caused an uproar, even if one doesn’t agree with them. Others are more puzzling.

    Where’s Waldo is a thinly veiled communist plot…under no circumstances should you allow you children to search for that damn annoying little red and white striped shirt guy! 😉

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