Thinking Parents know how enthusiastically we celebrate Banned Books Week here at Snook, every September. Last year’s theme was “Ideas Are Incombustible” and imo still fits the social inferno some folks are stoking with spittle-soaked frenzy.
This year’s official theme features a robot unplugging his head from the Borg download, happily reading a real book instead. (No technology required, not even a Kindle.)
You can tell the robot is happy from its glowing eyes and smile of satisfaction. If you follow the sequence of robot art through the whole list of books known to have been challenged during the past year, you can see the free-to-read robot’s power of story play out — thinking for yourself and letting others do the same turns into real liberty (and eyes aglow from books) for all.
Who could be against that? Well, this parent for one:
To Kill a Mockingbird
Removed from the St. Edmund Campion Secondary
School classrooms in Brampton, Ontario, Canada
(2009) because a parent objected to language used
in the novel, including the word “nigger.”
Source: Nov2009, pp. 203–4.
And this guy — who sounds like he should cut way back on the caffeine and might keep deadly firearms at home but perversely fixates on the threat of library books in his child’s backpack instead. We loved this book when FavD was a kid, read it aloud together and then went on to read several more ZKS)
Snyder, Zilpha Keatley
The Egypt Game
Challenged as part of a reading list in a fourth-grade
class at Southern Hills Elementary School in Wichita
Falls, Tex. (2009) because the book includes scenes
depicting Egyptian worship rituals. The Newberry
Award-winning book has been an optional part of the
school district’s curriculum for years.
“I’m not going to stop until it’s banned from the school district. I will not quiet down. I will not back down. I don’t believe any student should be subjected to anything that has to do with evil gods or black magic,” said the student’s father.
Source: Jan2010, p. 17.
Trying to ban To Kill a Mockingbird is itself OBSCENE, of course, and also politically incorrect, far more so than the way the author uses language as power of story, including the n-word.
Trying to restrict or ban or purge “anything that has to do with evil gods” would empty most libraries of both fiction and nonfiction, including Christian books from bibles to the Left Behind series, all sorts of poetry, polemics and sermon collections. Music and film collections wouldn’t take up much space there anymore, either. 😉
(And don’t even get me started on Sarah Palin and her witch-hunting pentecostal preacher laying hands on her to invoke some evil god’s power to make HER president! There go all the newspapers too.)
But the one on the new list that really annoyed me was this parent’s rah-rah-America rationale for anti-American book banning: TeaParty economics.
Talk about evil gods . . .
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America
Challenged at the Easton, Penn. School District
(2010), but retained despite a parent’s claim the
book promotes “economic fallacies” and socialist
ideas, as well as advocating the use of illegal drugs
and belittling Christians.
Source: May 2010, p. 107.