Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Who's up for a reading challenge?




Hi and welcome to your Wednesday fix of Shapeshifter Seductions! Rebecca here with nothing about shape shifters, only a rant. As you may or may not know, this is National Banned Books Week. This yearly event is near and dear to me because just about every freaking book I enjoyed as a child is on the list. I absolutely loved Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories series! (Yeah, I was into odd stuff as a kid, too. Sue me.)

Looking at the list, though, I noticed a definite trend: The books on the banned list were either books that encourage young kids to think outside the box or accept that life is still good even when it isn’t so pretty. What possible reason could people have for trying to force kids to only read empty-headed books? They banned Captain Underpants and Junie B. Jones, for crying out loud!

The next thing I noticed, of course, was that every book on it was either geared for teens or one that was commonly taught in high school literature classes. Sooo… Are we deliberately trying to cripple the younger generations then? Make ‘em cross-eyed, drooling drones? Which, of course brought to mind the 80s teen movie, “Footloose”, with the incredibly sexy Kevin Bacon. The preacher who banned books, dances and most everything that encouraged free thought because his son was killed doing stupid kid things? It didn’t work out so well in the movie. Add to that, Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Fin” has been on that list for over a hundred years with no discernable effect, I think the book haters need to realize they lost this war…
Third and final thing I noticed? Every major paranormal kid’s series was on that list. One of my favorite YA romances, “Blood and Chocolate”, is also on it. Why, oh why do we need to use children as a rope in a tug-of-war about rights that are clearly defined in the Constitution? If you don’t like it, don’t read it. If you don’t read it, you don’t get to rant about it. You can forbid your own kids from reading about Harry Potter, but you have no right to tell me that my kids shouldn’t be reading it.
Ok, so here’s my take on it. You know how there’s a list of 100 books everyone should read? Guess what? A lot of those books are on the list of 100 banned books. So I am going to treat the banned book list as a list of 100 books I should read. It’s cheating, I know. I’ve already read about half of them. It’s all fair, though. Some of the entries are for whole series’ so it’ll even out, more or less, anyway. I did notice that the Golden Compass and it’s sister books were on there, so I’m reserving my copy at the library today. How about you? Any of the books on the list look good to read?

Until next week!

Rebecca
RebeccaLGillan.com

10 comments:

Savanna Kougar said...

Rebecca, it's so sad how folks get caught/trapped in this whole idea of banning/burning books.

If you've never checked out The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, *former Senior Policy Advisor in the US Department of Education, blew the whistle on government activities.*
www.deliberatedumbingdown.com

Anyway, this book will prove what you're saying. I so wish folks in general would 'get' there's an active, wicked campaign to make them dumb and dumber.

Honestly, the overall reading comprehension has significantly lowered in the population since I was in school... a long time ago.

The problem: Folks don't want to believe this is going on, so they dismiss it, and think you're a KOOK if you even mention what's actually true. And have the proof.

Serena Shay said...

Ah Rebecca, I am forever disturbed, disgusted, frustrated, disheartened and truly amazed that there is such a list and by the folks who see no problem adding to it.

To me, it is just such a clear case of - If you don't like it, don't read it, but let it be my choice if I want to throw the book up against the wall and say "waste of my time."

Not everyone is going to like the books I like, nor am I going to like everyone elses choices, that's what makes us unique. ;)

It really gets me though when someone else wants to dictate what my child can or can not read. Books in our house are considered a wonder and nothing to fear. We can agree with what they say or disagree, but never, ever fear!

Yep, it is time to pull another book of the list for a read. :)

Great Blog!!

Pat C. said...

I live in one of those areas where a local school district banned Harry Potter for promoting witchcraft. You'd think the parents would be more concerned about bullying and teenage suicide and what their own children are doing as opposed to the actions of a fictional character. Yeah well.

Let the kids read the Bible. It starts off with the children rebelling against their dad's rules, then the one guy murders his brother. Wholesome stuff.

I'll have to get a copy of the list. Some day I hope to be on it.

Rebecca Murray said...

Here's a bit I forgot to add, though some people seem to miss the irony: Fahrenheit 451 is on that list of banned books...

Pat C. said...

What about Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf?

Rebecca Murray said...

Pat, many of the books on that list could help kids learn how to deal with bullying, teen suicide, drug adiction, abuse, date rape... Can't let the kids know about stuff like that, though.

I love my kids' school district. They read one book a month and last year, they read The Vampire's Aprrentice before going on a feild trip to see the movie, so they could discuse the differences...

Rebecca Murray said...

Nope, Mein Kampf isn't on it.

Savanna Kougar said...

Fahrenheit 451 is on that list of banned books...

Seems like it's been on the list forever... yeah, anything truly thought-provoking, or revealing.

Rebecca Murray said...

I just love the irony of it. A book about book censorship is on a list of censored books but, as Pat pointed out, Mien Kampf is not. Bradbury was quoted as saying her wrote it because of disturbing trends he was seeing in cold war America. It was written about a hedonistic, anti-intellectual America sometime after the 1990s where they burned books "for the good of society." Change that "burned" to "banned" and he'd have hit the nail on the head.

Savanna Kougar said...

Heck, I don't want Mein Kompf burned or banned. That's the point. Freedom of choice. Regardless.

I read Fahrenheit 451 a looooong time ago in college. Yeah, he did hit the nail on the head, especially since some groups in America advocate not only banning, but burning books. And given, some trends in the culture, yeah, what happened to one ounce of actual intelligent thought?