Sunday, September 27, 2009

Banned Books in Texas

Okie so since Banned Books Week started yesterday I decided to do a couple of post throughout the week to show my support. I went on to http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/ and found a list of books that have been banned or challenged in recent years. I decided to take books that were either banned or challenged in Texas and list why according to the post made on http://www.bannedbooksweek.com/ so anyway here they are.

1. Child of God by Cormac McCarthy
Banned in Tuscola, Texas (October 2007)
What its about: In this taut, chilling novel, Lester Ballard--a violent, dispossessed man falsely accused of rape--haunts the hill country of East Tennessee when he is released from jail. While telling his story, Cormac McCarthy depicts the most sordid aspects of life with dignity, humor, and characteristic lyrical brilliance
Why it was banned: Removed from Jim Ned High School and cancelled from being ordered to any library following complaints by parents of one student who also filed an official complaint against a teacher with the local sheriff. It was on an option read list and the parents did not approve of the violence and sexual themes in this novel. They met with the principal and their daughter’s teacher which left them unsatisfactory results. They then filed an official report for “harmful to minors” and the teacher was put on admin paid leave.

2. The Pillars of Earth by Ken Follet
Challenged in Cleburne, TX February 2009
What it's about: In 12th-century England, the building of a mighty Gothic cathedral signals the dawn of a new age. This majestic creation will bond clergy and kings, knights and peasants together in a story of toil, faith, ambition and rivalry. A sweeping tale of the turbulent middle ages, The Pillars of the Earth is a masterpiece from one of the world's most popular authors.
Why it was challenged: Superintendent of Cleburne high decided to remove the novel after parents issued complaints about its sexual content. This novel had been a part of a AP English course since 1996. The teacher offered an alternative book in case anyone didn’t want to read or be offended by its sexual content.

3. TTYL by Lauren Myracle
Banned in Round Rock, Texas November 2008
What it's about: An epistolary novel for the 21st century, this sharp, funny, and true-to-life breakout hit about friendship is told entirely in instant messages. And Internet-savvy teens have fallen in love with flirty Angela (SnowAngel), moody Maddie (mad maddie), and good girl Zoe (zoegirl) and their frank perceptions about a tumultuous tenth-grade semester.
Why it was banned: This novel was removed from Middle School libraries in November 2008 after a parent challenged it because of its sexual content and profanity in the book. Two review committees evaluated the book and recommended it be kept on the shelves. Before the review committee had its say, the superintendent had removed the book from libraries throughout the district. Letter’s opposing this ban has been issued.

Last but not least.. this one wasn't in Texas but it was the most suprising one that I had seen! Well to me anyway because she is one of my favorite Authors! Okie here it is...

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Challenged in Tampa, Florida Dec 2007
What it's about: Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything; at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf 's Department Store. This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.
In this multi-layered, impossible-to-put-down book, Sarah Dessen tells the story of a year in the life of a family coming to terms with the imperfections beneath its perfect facade
Why it was challenged: Challenged at Armwood High School by a few parents who believed that the sexual themes as well as the language was inappropriate, and so they requested it to be removed from the library. Parents, Teachers and Students voted anonymously to keep the books on the shelves after the ABFFE and NCAC sent a letter to Tampa Tribute and the Hilsborough County School Board.

My Thoughts:

Anyway that's it. I just think that people who want to ban a certain book or want to challenge it are too much of a prune. The book is there for anyone's entertainment or to simply learn from it, it doesn't have a gun pointed at your temple telling you to read it! Come on people! Books are meant to be learned from and make you think out of the box. Isn't this supposed to be america? People that have problems with sexual themes and so on should just get away from technology or as a matter of fact anything in general because in today's society all you ever see on tv, billboads or movies, are ads that portray sex, drugs, alcohol and many many other things. If people are worried about keeping their kids minds "innocent" by not allowing them to read these books, then I just think that it's impossible. Like I said today's society is so diffrent from what we were dealing with 10 years ago. I remember my childhood, Disney movies were actually good like.. The Lion King or Cinderella. Now a days you have movies or tv shows that are innapporiate! Take Spongebob for example. If you watch the movie it's abs filled with sexual references that maybe your kids don't get but the adults sure do. Books are meant to be learned from or to tell a story. It's stuff that may happen in real life or if it doesn't i'm sure atleast one other person has thought about it. Anyway that's just my rant. Wow that was long... lol yeah...

Comment Question of the Blog:
What's your take on Banned Books? Leave me your answer in the comment section below.

As always,
That Chick That Reads

4 comments:

  1. I think it's absolutely ridiculous that they banned TTYL and Just Listen. I've read both of those books and thought they were wonderful. Loads of books have sexual content and profanity, in fact most of the Young Adult novels published now contain these things. Might as well ban every single YA novel out there!
    As for the other books, I haven't read them so I wouldn't know. But if one of them has been in the course since 1996 then it seems pretty stupid that it'd be banned now. I totally agree with you. Spongebob has a lot of dirty jokes and no one bans that show! People shouldn't ban books. Everyone should be allowed to read whatever they want.

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  2. Banning books is just... ugh. Basically, it's just an attempt to keep people ignorant... and when you're trying to keep children ignorant, I find that particularly abhorrent.

    Our local school board spent over one million dollars of taxpayer money to try to keep three picture books about same-sex parents out of the schools. Eventually, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that: "Tolerance is always age-appropriate, children cannot learn unless they are exposed to views that differ from those they are taught at home." My thoughts exactly.

    (This same school board went on to prevent a production of The Laramie Project. They also wouldn't show An Inconvenient Truth because some of the trustees weren't "sold on the theory of global warming". I guess the people making these decisions are exactly the kind of people they're hoping those decisions will produce: ignorant, intolerant, and closed-minded ones.)

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  3. WOW.
    It is shocking that they banned these books.
    I checked the calender.
    Yep, it is the 21st Century. (Really?!)
    Book Banners should be forced to march through their hometowns in full Nazi regalia so people can know who they are and what they represent.
    Thanks for the great post.
    All the best,
    twitter: @RKCharron
    xoxo

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  4. some days, i am ashamed to say i love texas

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