By Order of the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts...

Friday, September 20, 2013

...Any student found in possession
of the magazine The Quibbler will be expelled.

Next week is Banned Books Week. This is probably the first year in over four years that I don't have a plan to read any banned book. Not because I don't want to, but more because I haven't yet got the time to choose a read. Maybe by this weekend, I'll decide one, maybe I will just let this year go by and celebrate the week in spirit.

It's funny though, how, with the Banned Books week just around the corner, we already have a few parents clamoring to ban another popular book, Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park, and calling to discipline the librarians who chose that book. What??


I don't think I quite get the whole ban philosophy. I know I've said that repeatedly. I grew up reading whatever I wanted, even erotica, and I turned out fine, thankyouverymuch. It boggles my mind why people would want to ban books, rather than call for a discussion or fill one of those opt-out forms. According to me, banning books will do what banning The Quibbler did to Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter. All the kids are now for sure, going to want to read Eleanor and Park. They are going to be very curious about what the "dangerously obscene" thing is in the book. This incident brings to memory that whole ugly ban of Speak that happened a few years ago (that book was considered pornographic!).

The things some people say!

If I had a child, I would be more worried about the child reading Twilight, for its domination and subservience themes than something like Eleanor and Park.

I am going to start Eleanor and Park today. And I cannot wait. I've been looking forward to reading this one for so long.

15 comments:

bermudaonion(Kathy) said...

I had to click on the link to see what people objected to with Eleanor and Park. They called it "dangerously obscene." Makes me wonder if they actually read it.

Helen Murdoch said...

Banning books really is such a strange concept. What are people so afraid of?! Eleanor and Park is one I've wanted to read for months now, but it is always checked out of our library.

Sam_TinyLibrary said...

How could anyone object to Eleanor and Park? :O
And as you say, the whole theme and tone of a book is far more important than any isolated incidents of swearing etc.

Lisa Sheppard said...

I always wonder now if there were books that were banned in my schools/libraries when I was growing up and I just wasn't aware of it. I know I read a lot of books as a teen that I now see on banned/challenged lists so I think I got my hands on pretty much everything and I turned out fine as well. Oh, wait, Aths - we turned out to be open-minded, free-thinking, intelligent adults. Clearly something that a lot of parents who want their children to grow up to be clones don't want.

aarti said...

I'm reading Eleanor & Park right now, too! I am doing it as an audiobook. It's good but I don't think I'm falling in love with it the way that other people are. At least, not so far.


I also admit I think Banned Books week is a bit of a misnomer and more of a marketing ploy. Books in the US aren't REALLY banned - they may not be in the school library, but they are pretty easy to find. But it's good to bring attention to incendiary novels, anyway!

readingtheend said...

What is so baffling to me about banning books is this idea that if kids read about a thing, they will desire and do that thing, whereas before reading about it, they never ever would have thought of it. If I were worried about my kids' learning about ideas I thought were dangerous (for instance, the ideas about power dynamics in relationships that occur in Twilight), I'd much rather know they were reading those books so I could talk to them and say "This is what this book says, this is what my values are on that issue, what do you think?"

Jennifer Hartling said...

I hope you're loving (loved?) this book! Banning books...argh. Nothing drives me crazier.

Athira / Aths said...

I just finished that book and I can't figure out why that book has to be banned. It doesn't have anything a teen shouldn't read.

Athira / Aths said...

My guess is nop. Someone must have talked about a scene and then it became household knowledge.

Athira / Aths said...

You should check it. It is so darn good. I just finished it and enjoyed it loads.

Athira / Aths said...

I just finished the book and cannot figure out why that book should be banned. There is nothing in there that a teen shouldn't read but I'll leave it to the parents to decide what their child should read. But banning is no answer.

Athira / Aths said...

Yeah. It's upsetting enough to hear that some parents think books like ELEANOR AND PARK shouldn't be read by their kids. It's worse that they ask for the books to be banned.

Athira / Aths said...

You're right. I think it's just the idea of banning that people don't approve of. I would be really annoyed if someone banned a book at the school I'm studying because some parents are too full of their own skewed principles. That said, there are places where when a book is banned, it really is banned. Those places could benefit from an awakening of sorts.

Athira / Aths said...

I agree. Kids already know about sex and drugs and booze and all the vices. They are going to be intrigued about them. They may want to experience them. Taking a book away is not going to change that. I'd rather let my child know about them and think for herself about whether it's okay to do them or not. Than finding out something horrid the hard (and maybe irreversible) way.

Athira / Aths said...

I loved it! It was a fabulous read!