Yesterday wrapped up a week of annual events bringing to light the issues surrounding banned books such as censorship, first amendment rights, and freedom of information.
However, as responsible adults, it’s our job to protect children from danger. Honestly, I’m not sure which is more dangerous, a run-in with Ernest Hemingway or a good old-fashioned book burning. On one hand, Ernest Hemingway advocates sex and could give you a nasty paper cut, on the other hand, fire is singe-y and could kill you. It’s a tough call. Fortunately, there are numerous approved reading sources that nix the socialism and sex but still share the wonders of misogyny and homophobia.
You know what else makes book burnings ok? The approval of the government. If the people in charge say it’s ok then it’s time to pull out the matches and grab some sticks. I’m pretty sure that’s how the Nazis convinced everyone to throw a book on the bonfire. Well, that, and Hitler promised to bring s’mores to the bonfire. S’mores make everything more festive.
I checked out the Banned and Challenged Book Lists and realized that I’ve read a fair number of books on the list so I guess I’m doomed.
Some of my favorite books are regularly banned or challenged, including:
- Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”
- Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
- J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye.”
- Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl.”
- Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
- Augusten Burroughs’ “Running with Scissors.”
- Lois Lowry’s “The Giver.”
- Mark Mathabane’s “Kaffir Boy.”
- Gregory Maguire’s “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.”
- Philip Pullman’s “The Golden Compass.”
As you can tell I’ve clearly turned out poorly and will be accursed for life so it’s advisable to keep your children away from these books altogether. In fact, the best way to keep them from sneaking around with a copy of “Of Mice and Men” is to forbid them from ever learning to read. Illiteracy is the answer and abstinence from books is the only solution.