Banned Books

Banned books are books that have been censored by a library, school system, or government and have been removed from a school or library.

This is not something that happened only in the past. Hundreds of attempts to ban books are made every year.

Many of my favorite books have been banned at one time or another. Most of the time I was not aware of that when I first read them.

Some still regularly make the "most banned" list year after year.

What I love about them is that so often they are stories that have deep meaning, and give insight into issues I may not have otherwise considered.

A librarian once told me that many people do not even read the book they want banned!  What a shame to miss a story that may contain some valuable educational material because of a few "offensive" words.

Attempts to ban are done with the intention to "protect" others - usually children - from material that the person who wants it banned believes to be harmful.

I wonder if any of these people stop to consider the rest of us might not want them to make those decisions for us and our children?

I am quite sure they would not want anyone else to restrict their reading material!

It's not always just children that some people try to "protect". I've seen literature distributed to church congregations warning them not to look at a particular book or movie.  And the reasons they gave for for it were not exactly factual!  (See The Last Temptation of Christ .)

Of course, people always have and always will disagree on what is offensive, dangerous, or downright harmful  So the attempts to ban will go on.

In a country where we have the freedom to read, write, and say whatever we like, we also have the freedom to protest what we don't.  And for all of that, I'm grateful.

Some of my favorite banned books are:

Huckleberry Finn

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Color Purple

The Prince of Tides

Flowers for Algernon

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