It’s Banned Books Week!! (25 September − 2 October)

Since this week is Banned Books Week in the US, I thought I’d take the time to reflect on the most ridiculous case of book banning this year:

Annabel Lyon’s The Golden Mead was BANNED, yes CENSORED, from the bookshops of BC Ferries (British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.) in Canada because the front cover has a picture of a naked bum on it… (Alexander the Great’s bum to be more precise).

New Yorker blogger Eileen Reynolds deemed the censorship as “particularly silly” – no kidding. Since when did the image of a naked man draped across a white horse become offensive? Perhaps, I could have worded that better. But all joking aside, if BC Ferries are worried about the kiddies seeing THIS perhaps they should take one (or ten) steps back and look at our society today, because this is nothing.

Fortunately the Canadian author of this highly-acclaimed novel, Annabel Lyon, isn’t taking the whole thing too seriously. On her blog she states:

The trade paperback edition of The Golden Mean is in stores now. Available from amazon.ca, chapters.indigo.ca, Black Bond Books, and lots of other places too. (Though not BC Ferries, since the trade paperback still features a bare bum on the cover. Oh, BC Ferries. You have one too, you know you do!)

Nice to see that at least one person has a sense of humour!

According to the Guardian the top ten most challenged books in 2009 were:

1. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series) by Lauren Myracle

Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs

2. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

Reasons: Homosexuality

3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide

4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

6. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

7. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence

8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

10. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Over the top?

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “It’s Banned Books Week!! (25 September − 2 October)

  1. I almost find it hard to believe that an entire book is banned simply because of a bum shot…
    I have always found censorship difficult to deal with and somewhat offensive, since I strongly believe it is downright wrong to make decisions on another’s behalf…age restrictions I can make peace with and I understand the necessity, but when grown ups are shielded from a naked bum the world has taken a seriously wrong turn…

    So this month, I’m reading all the books on your banned list.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      Definitely! I completely agree. I feel like we’re completely missing the point as well – apparently most of these books are challenged by parents (61%), kids probably hear more swearing on the TV or out in the street than they would reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird – its a classic! We should be delighted that they’re at least reading.

      But yeah as far as us adults are concerned – if we want to read a book with a picture of a naked bum on it, then let us :)

      Happy reading…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s