Judy Blume may be the queen of banned books.
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“Censorship and the suppression of reading materials are rarely about family values and almost always about control, about who is snapping the whip, who is saying no, and who is saying go. Censorship’s bottom line is this: if the novel Christine offends me, I don’t want just to make sure it’s kept from my kid; I want to make sure it’s kept from your kid, as well, and all the kids. This bit of intellectual arrogance, undemocratic and as old as time, is best expressed this way: “If it’s bad for me and my family, it’s bad for everyone’s family.”
Yet when books are run out of school classrooms and even out
of school libraries as a result of this idea, I’m never much disturbed not as a citizen, not as a writer, not even as a schoolteacher . . . which I used to be. What I tell kids is, Don’t get mad, get even. Don’t spend time waving signs or carrying petitions around the neighborhood. Instead, run, don’t walk, to the nearest nonschool library or to the local bookstore and get whatever it was that they banned. Read whatever they’re trying to keep out of your eyes and your brain, because that’s exactly what you need to know.”
– Stephen King
Honestly, I could post a quote a day for every day of Banned Books Week (September 24 – September 30) and still have plenty to say. Censorship isn’t about protection; it is about repression. READ BANNED BOOKS!
But given the number of classic books that have been banned through the decades, who doesn’t? Without knowing it, I proudly declared some of those oft-banned books among my favorites. To Kill a Mockingbird, the entire Harry Potter series, A Wrinkle in Time, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, and A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein just to name a few. Seriously? What did they find offensive about the poetry of Shel Silverstein? Is it too funny, entertaining, and honest? That’s the key, isn’t it? Honesty. Certain factions of society don’t want people to develop open minds about the world, to see the world as it truly is, or to think for themselves. And they want to stop it as early as possible. That’s why so many of the books that have been banned are ones written for children and young adults. That makes me angry and that’s why I proudly declare I READ BANNED BOOKS! This week, September 20 – October 3, 2015, is banned books week. If you want to learn more about books that have been banned and see lists of the 100 most banned books from the last two decades, visit http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top100