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dee_deefl
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Banned Books Week

Next Saturday is Banned Book Week.

 

 

September 25 - October 2, 2010

 

 

I would like to request that some of the banned books be available either DTB or Ebook.

 

I can't, for the life of me, figure out why Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn or Black Beauty

was a banned book.

 

I'll get off my soap box now.

 

:smileywink:

AlanNJ
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Re: Banned Books Week

Black Beauty was naked.

►Without order there is chaos◄
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very-simple
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Re: Banned Books Week

[ Edited ]

Generally, books get banned for what amount to incredibly stupid reasons.

 

Huck Finn often gets banned by people who don't understand context, and just see the n-word sprinkled throughout the book.  Of course, if they bothered to *read* the book, they'd understand that (aside from being used in a historical context), Twain uses it ironically - Jim is the most heroic person in the book.  

 

(of course, I imagine there are *some* people in the world who object to Jim being the hero as well...).  

 

In my opinion, no book should be banned. 

 

Heck.  Just looked at the most banned books for 2009, and the reasons.  

 

To Kill a Mockingbird was banned for...racism.  Talk about not getting the point.

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BrookieNookie
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Re: Banned Books Week

Man, for some reason when I first read this post, I was sure it meant that B&N was going to be offering some of the banned books for free. That's what I get for reading too fast. This would be a great promotion though!

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blkeyesuzi
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Re: Banned Books Week

If you look Here on the ALA website you'll see a list of banned classics.  Number 22 is Winnie the Pooh! I'd love to know the reason for that one.  Isn't it amazing? 

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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MrBanballow
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Re: Banned Books Week

 


BrookieNookie wrote:

Man, for some reason when I first read this post, I was sure it meant that B&N was going to be offering some of the banned books for free. That's what I get for reading too fast. This would be a great promotion though!


That's what I thought at first when I saw the Topic. I was sitting here thinking to myself, didn't they do a "Banned Books" week during the Free Classics Promo?... and I was right, the week of Aug 5 was books that were banned. It would be a bit early to redo it, me thinks.

 

Currently reading: The Complete Sherlock Holmes Vol 1, Grimm's Fairy Tales
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aditya
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Re: Banned Books Week

 


blkeyesuzi wrote:

If you look Here on the ALA website you'll see a list of banned classics.  Number 22 is Winnie the Pooh! I'd love to know the reason for that one.  Isn't it amazing? 


Weapons-grade cuteness? :smileytongue:

 

The cake is a lie.
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blkeyesuzi
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Re: Banned Books Week

 


aditya wrote:

 


blkeyesuzi wrote:

If you look Here on the ALA website you'll see a list of banned classics.  Number 22 is Winnie the Pooh! I'd love to know the reason for that one.  Isn't it amazing? 


Weapons-grade cuteness? :smileytongue:

 


AAAAAAAAH I think you may have something there! lol

 

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
Doug_Pardee
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Re: Banned Books Week


blkeyesuzi wrote:

 

If you look Here on the ALA website you'll see a list of banned classics.  Number 22 is Winnie the Pooh! I'd love to know the reason for that one.  Isn't it amazing? 


It wasn't banned. That list is "the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century", and only the 46 in bold have been reported to have been challenged. Winnie the Pooh isn't one of those.

 

ALA's definitions of "challenged" and "banned" are apparently intended to be sensational. ALA is primarily looking at whether any restrictions of any kind are placed on access by children of any age. They consider "parental consent" to be a restriction. They consider requiring guidance, such as discussion of the appropriateness of the n-word today, to be a restriction.

 

If one person anywhere in the world ever makes an official request that a book not be set as required reading for his/her child in any particular classroom, ALA considers that book to be "challenged" from that day on. Even if the request was absurd and never granted.

 

ALA says that, “Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents—and only parents—have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children—and only their children—to library resources.” But that's not how their definitions work. If a request for parental approval is made in any school anywhere, ALA declares that book to be a "challenged book". Forever. If the request is approved, for even one day, ALA declares that book to be a "banned book". Forever.

 

If some tin-pot dictator in some nearly-lawless country banned a book for a week back in 1928 before being overthown in a military coup, ALA considers that a "banned book". Forever.

 

The ALA's definitions are nuts. They should be talking about books that are currently being attacked, not books that were attacked a half century ago. They should be talking about books that are being attacked for adult readership, not ones that some parents don't want their 8-year-olds reading in class without at least some basic guidance from the teacher. They should be talking about books where the attacks are repeated, widespread, or successful, not isolated instances that came to nothing and never stood a chance.

 

But that list would be extremely small, and the titles wouldn't be very sensational.

 

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EmrysIN
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Re: Banned Books Week

The book "Watership Down" was also banned, due to one of the rabbits being psychic. Therefore the book must deal with the occult and be evil. What happened to the good ol' days of book burning? /sarcasm

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sirwillard
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Re: Banned Books Week

What's this? We can't have any reasonable discourse here. Doug_Pardee, you're banned!

 

Seriously, though, thanks for some common sense instead of hysteria. Humans are humans. They do stupid things. So when you count every single incident throughout history of some individual doing something stupid you're going to have a very skewed view of things. Discussions like this need to be put into perspective and modern context, but that's just not as much fun, because there's not a lot of "banning" actually going on.

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ajrosen
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Re: Banned Books Week

 


EmrysIN wrote:

The book "Watership Down" was also banned, due to one of the rabbits being psychic. Therefore the book must deal with the occult and be evil. What happened to the good ol' days of book burning? /sarcasm


 

 

(Apologies for the Kindle reference...)

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Susan_A
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Re: Banned Books Week

That's perfect!

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Sandikal
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Re: Banned Books Week

Thank you for bringing in another side to the conversations, Doug.  Every time Banned Books Week comes around, I try to argue that there is a difference between banned and challenged.   With challenges, one has to look at the context.  Was the book challenged for simply being available in the library?  That's not okay.  Was the book challenged because  it was required reading in a class and had content that was unsuitable for the age group?  Parents should be able to approach the teacher about the suitability.  Questioning the appropriateness of a required text should not be considered anti-free speech. 

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dee_deefl
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Re: Banned Books Week

I was hoping that B&N would have a "Banned Book Week".

 

It doesn't have to include the Free Classics.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for all comments.

 

 

 

:smileyhappy:

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kivvie
Posts: 160
Registered: ‎04-22-2010

Re: Banned Books Week

As a teacher, when a parent asks about reading choices, my first question is "Have you read the book?" Over 90% of the time, the answer is no. They heard from someone, usually their pastor, that the book was bad therefore it must be. Few teachers chose books that do not have redeeming value -- there is always the exception.

 

I let my students chose their independent reading material -- generally from a HUGE list, but sometimes it's complete free choice. I make it my job to try and read every book they read. Yes, that means there are times I am reading up to 156 new books every quarter, although it's usually around 40 new titles. I am astounded by the parents who do not want to know what their child is reading.

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Taxandria
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Re: Banned Books Week

[ Edited ]

Doug, I adore your response and agree wholeheartedly. The whole "Banned Books" sensation is in my opinion, a marketing tool. Obviously if we can get our hands on these books, they haven't been banned. And your observations on which books we should be discussing is spot on. Every parent will have a different threshold of suitability when it comes to their children's reading material -- pretty much every book has been challenged or banned if the definition goes that far. 

 

There's such a hoopla made and it feeds off of the knee jerk reactionary response that we've been conditioned to exhibit whenever any of our freedoms even slightly appears to be at risk. I dislike how reason is clouded by panic. 

 

Your post was extremely valuable and very much needed.

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alegremama
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Re: Banned Books Week

I am also a teacher, but foremost I am a mom.

Not only have I read everything my children read, I tried to read it at the same time they were reading it.

I also watched what they were viewing on TV.  Now that they are adults, they share with me which books they are reading. I find that I have already read a lot of what they now read, and am interested in the books that I have not read.

:smileyvery-happy:

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sirwillard
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Re: Banned Books Week


kivvie wrote:

As a teacher, when a parent asks about reading choices, my first question is "Have you read the book?" Over 90% of the time, the answer is no. They heard from someone, usually their pastor, that the book was bad therefore it must be. Few teachers chose books that do not have redeeming value -- there is always the exception.

 

I let my students chose their independent reading material -- generally from a HUGE list, but sometimes it's complete free choice. I make it my job to try and read every book they read. Yes, that means there are times I am reading up to 156 new books every quarter, although it's usually around 40 new titles. I am astounded by the parents who do not want to know what their child is reading.


This response misses the point entirely. What right do you have to make choices such as this one for a parent, no matter how misguided you feel the parents are? I've seen plenty of cases similar to what you're describing, and I do think it's unfortunate that the parents in question aren't truly informed, but it is their choice. Try and convince them all you want, but respect their right to raise their kids as they see fit.

 

And the 90% figure sounds like 90% of all figures, made up on the spot, just like this one. While I've seen the incidents with uninformed parents, I've also seen the opposite: schools making books required reading for kids who aren't mature enough to handle the material and parents who have read the book being rightfully upset by it. So even if I buy your 90% as a personal experience, I don't buy that it has any relationship to the rest of the cases where books have been challenged.

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kivvie
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Re: Banned Books Week

My response is based on my experiences. I have never FORCED a student to read anything. Actually, if you are a parent of a student in a public school, you have the choice of asking for an alternative assignment if you do not like the teacher's choice.

 

In 12 years of teaching, I have had 1 parent ask for an alternative assignment after I talk with them. I also have a written explanation and justification for every novel I teach. I had a parent throw a fit about Huck Finn. When I explained that I teach about irony and dialect, the parent changed their tune. The student had told the parent that I was calling students the "n-word" in class and forcing the students to use it to refer to other students. When the parent found out what was actually happening in my classroom, the attitude completely changed.

 

Parents should be involved in their child's education; however, many times they are not. My post was to indicate that most challenges regarding a book are based on misinformation, not actual information. Parents hear that a book is "bad" and then challenge it. I feel that my job as a teacher is to educate parents as well as students. If after explaining my justifcation and seeing the daily lesson plans, a parent wishes an alternative assignment, I provide one.

 

Literature is controversial. I want students to think critically about the opinions they have and what other people say. The only way to cultivate critical thinking is to challenge the status quo. That does not mean one has to be intentionally inflammatory, but it does reguire thoughtful choices.