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text 2018-10-02 16:56
Further Into The Reveal [Unwrapped Blind Date!]

Some of you might have seen in previous posts me talking about a "Blind Date With A Book," and a video showing me unwrapping them. In this post, I will post pictures and more details about the banned books! Some I might have talked about before, some might also prove hard to find reasons it was banned.



Here is the group photo. Were you surprised by any of them? I am not surprised they all turned out to be classics or that several were school read in my time (probably still school reads today?)



 Of Mice and Men

Two migrant field workers in California on their plantation during the Great Depression—George Milton, an intelligent but uneducated man, and Lennie Small, a bulky, strong man but mentally disabled—are in Soledad on their way to another part of California.


Banned or Challenged:

1953 - Banned in Ireland

1974 - Indiana - Banned in Syracuse


Pennsylvania - Banned in Oil City

South Carolina - Challenged in Greenville by the Fourth Province of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

1979 - Michigan - Challenged but retained in Grand Blanc schools after being called "vulgar and blasphemous"


New York - Challenged in Vernon-Verona-Sherill School District

Ohio - Challenged in Continental

1981 - Arizona - Challenged in Saint David

1982 - Indiana - Challenged in Tell City for "profanity and using God's name in vain"

1983 - Alabama - Banned from classroom use at Scottsboro Skyline HIgh School for profanity

1984 - Tennessee - The Knoxville School Board chairman vowed to have "filthy books" removed from Knoxville's public schools and picked this book as the first target for it's profanity

1987 - Kentucky - Reinstated at the Christian County school libraries and English classes after being challenged for being vulgar and offensive


Illinois - Challenged at the Wheaton-Warrenville Middle school

Michigan - Challenged at the Barrien Springs High School for profanity

West Virginia - Challenged in the Marion County schools


The rest of the reasons can be found here

(spoiler show)


The Red Pony

The Red Pony is divided into four stories. Each story centers on a boy named Jody; the four together show him in a critical time of his childhood. In the first story, Jody is ten years old.


Banned or Challenged:

I had trouble finding out why other than what the paper says in the picture.



 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

On its surface, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a straightforward story about a boy and a runaway slave floating down the Mississippi River. But underneath, the book—which was published in the U.S. on February 18, 1885—is a subversive confrontation of slavery and racism.


Banned or Challenged:

1885 - Massachusetts - Banned in Concord as "trash and suitable only for the slums."

1905 - New York - Excluded from the Brooklyn Public Library's children's colleciton because "Huck not only itched but scratched, and that he said sweat when he should have said perspiration."

1930 - Confiscated at the USSR border

1957 - New York - Dropped from New York City list of books recommended for senior and junior high schools partly for use of racial language

1969 - Florida - Removed from Miami-Dade Junior College required reading because it "creates an emotional block for black students that inhibits learning."

1976 - Illinois - Challenged for racism at the New Trier High School at Winnetka

1981 - Pennsylvania - Challenged for racism at the Tamament Junior High in Warrington.


The rest of the reasons can be found here

(spoiler show)


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

An imaginative and mischievous boy named Tom Sawyer lives with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother, Sid, in the Mississippi River town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. After playing hooky from school on Friday and dirtying his clothes in a fight, Tom is made to whitewash the fence as punishment on Saturday.


Banned or Challenged:

I had trouble finding more reasons, but it is probably clear that the reasons are similar to Huck Finn.



The Canterbury Tales

At the Tabard Inn, a tavern in Southwark, near London, the narrator joins a company of twenty-nine pilgrims. The pilgrims, like the narrator, are traveling to the shrine of the martyr Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury. The narrator gives a descriptive account of twenty-seven of these pilgrims, including a Knight, Squire, Yeoman, Prioress, Monk, Friar, Merchant, Clerk, Man of Law, Franklin, Haberdasher, Carpenter, Weaver, Dyer, Tapestry-Weaver, Cook, Shipman, Physician, Wife, Parson, Plowman, Miller, Manciple, Reeve, Summoner, Pardoner, and Host.


Banned or Challenged:

I couldn't find much info other than language, sexual innuendo, critical of powerful constituencies (the church)


Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels Summary. Gulliver embarks on four separate voyages in Gulliver's Travels. There is a storm before every journey. All the four voyages add new perspectives to Gulliver's life and also give him new opportunities for satirizing the ways of England.


Banned or Challenged:



A hard one to find a good source. Here is what I could dig up. "Gulliver's Travels" is a famous satirical novel by Jonathan Swift, but the work has also been banned for the displays of madness, the public urination, and other controversial topics. Here, we are transported to through the dystopian experiences of Lemuel Gulliver, as he sees giants, talking horses, cities in the sky, and much more. The book was originally censored because of the politically sensitive references Swift makes in his novel. "Gulliver's Travels" was also banned in Ireland for being "wicked and obscene." William Makepeace Thackeray said of the book that it was "horrible, shameful, blasphemous, filthy in word, filthy in thought."



(spoiler show)





 Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–1602 as a Twelfth Night's entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play centres on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck.


Banned or Challenged:


Many of Shakespeare’s plays have fallen under suspicion, but in 1996, a school in New Hampshire removed this comedy because of the cross-dressing and the allusion to same-sex romance (which actually doesn’t happen in the narrative) — which they saw as breaking the school’s rule on “prohibition of alternative lifestyle instruction.”

(spoiler show)



Le Morte d' Arthur

Le Morte d'Arthur is the tale of King Arthur. It begins with the formation of the Knights of the Round Table and follows the rise of King Arthur and his tragic fall. The story begins with Uther Pendragon, the King of England who lusts after Igraine, who happens to be the wife of the Duke of Tintagil.


Banned or Challenged:

I had a hard time finding more reasons other than what the paper in the photo says.



The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye is set around the 1950s and is narrated by a young man named Holden Caulfield. Holden is not specific about his location while he's telling the story, but he makes it clear that he is undergoing treatment in a mental hospital or sanatorium.


Banned or Challenged:



1960 - Oklahoma - Teacher was fired in Tulsa from an 11th grade English position for assigning the book. Teacher appealed and was reinstated but the book was removed from the school


1963 - Ohio - Columbus parents asked the school board to ban the novel for being "anti-white" and "obscene." The school board refused.


1975 - Pennsylvania - Removed from reading list after parents complained about the language and content. The book was reinstated after the school board vote, orginally 5-4, was deemed illegal as they required a two-thirds vote in favor to remove a text.


1977 - New Jersey - Challenged and the board ruled the book could be read in an advanced placement class with parental permission.


1978 - Washington - Issaquah school removed it from their optional reading list


1979 - Michigan - Removed from the required reading list at Middleville.


1980 - Ohio - Removed from Jackson Milton school libraries in North Jackson




Alabama - Removed from Anniston High School libraries and later reinstated


Manitoba, Canada - Removed from school libraries in Morris along with two other books as they violate committee's guidelines covering "excess vulgar language, sexual scenes, things  concerning moral issues, excessive violence, and anything dealing with the occult."




The rest of the reasons can be found here

(spoiler show)



 To Kill A Mockingbird

Scout Finch lives with her brother, Jem, and her father, Atticus, in Maycomb, Alabama, during the Great Depression. Scout spends her summers playing with Jem and their friend Dill, who visits his aunt in Maycomb each summer. The children become obsessed with Boo Radley, the reclusive neighbor rumored to have stabbed his own father in the leg with a pair of scissors.


Banned or Challenged:



After a mother complained to the superintendent that her son was uncomfortable with the N-word, the novel was removed from the 8th-grade curriculum at Biloxi (MS) Public Schools in the middle of teaching it, without following policy. After national outcry, the book is available to be taught as an optional assignments with the written permission of a parent. At Hamilton (AZ) High School, parents expressed concern over a school assignment addressing the use of the N-word in the classic novel.



Retained in the Accomack County (VA) Public Schools. A parent objected to racial slurs in the book. After being temporarily removed on Nov. 29, 2016, the book was reinstated on Dec. 6 by the school board.



Banned or challenged for offensive language and racism.



Removed from the St. Edmund Campion Secondary School classrooms in Brampton (Ontario, Canada) because a parent objected to language used in the novel, including the N-word.


The rest of the reasons can be found here.

(spoiler show)
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video 2018-10-01 19:37

The Reveal! Please excuse how awkward I am! Also I had some technical diffuculties at the end, so I am sorry that the video cuts off.

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text 2018-10-01 14:25
Blind Date With A Book, Banned Style!

My local store is really stepping it up with their banned book section.


Today when I went in they had a bunch of wrapped banned books. I know it is a gamble to take a book only based on why it was banned, but I couldn't resist. I like the mystery behind "Blind Date With A Book." I bought most of their wrapped books. Oops.


There is a chance I own some of these. The reason for banning sounds familar. If I do own them, I will find them a good home. Stay tuned for a video of me upwrapping these!


Please put your guesses below!









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text 2018-09-29 18:32
Reading progress update: I've listened to 33%.
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Sally Beauman
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier,Anna Massey
Rebecca (Audiocd) - Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

Final square -- revisiting Rebecca with the idea of a comparison review of the 3 audio versions I own (narrated by Anna Massey, Emma Fielding, and Emilia Fox, respectively).

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text 2018-09-26 07:01
More banned books!

I recently did a couple posts about banned books, but this is a topic that could sadly go on forever.


I decided to look up and see which books are banned or challenged that I have either read or know a lot about (because of maybe media, it was made into a movie...etc.) I will leave links to my resources. (Most will probably have more books that I don't list here.) Please note that I do not think any book should be banned, even "bad" ones, even problematic ones. Problematic books can start discussions. Trigger Warning: The last book mentioned is about the subject of rape.




1. Tarzan series by Edgar Rice Burroughs



 Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic series about a man living in the jungle was pulled from the shelves of a public library in the appropriately named town of Tarzana, California. Authorities thought the adventure stories unsuitable for youngsters, since there was no evidence that Tarzan and Jane had married before they started cohabiting in the treetops. 


My thoughts: I never read the books. I saw the movie version, but I can't imagine the books were worth banning. The reason for it being banned speaks of the times from which it was published, I suppose.




2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak



 When the book was finally published in 1963, the book was banned because adults found it problematic that Max was punished by being sent to bed without dinner, and they also bristled at the book's supernatural themes. A 1969 column in Ladies Home Journal deemed the book "psychologically damaging for 3- and 4-year-olds."


My thoughts: Aw, really? I love this book and also the movie. I don't think we have to worrry about a 3 or 4 year old being damaged from it. I mean, know your child before reading a book that might be too scary for them.




3. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh



 Some schools blocked Louise Fitzhugh's book from shelves when it came out in the 1960s because of concerns that the 11-year-old child's penchant for peeping on her neighbors, jotting down her brutally honest observations, and being generally disagreeable could negatively influence kids by setting a bad example. Early critics argued that Harriet "didn't spy, but rather gossiped, slandered, and hurt other people without feeling sorry about her actions," Thought Co. said.


My thoughts: I have a blind spot for this book. I loved it as a child and it is one of the first chapter books that really got me into reading and grew my love of writing. Why shouldn't Harriet be allowed to write her true feelings? Her notebooks were stolen; they were never meant to be read. My reading this at 11/12 turned me into a spy! I kept a journal and everything. I "spied" on people, but I wasn't cruel. I just wrote what I saw. Looking back, I see that as a kid, you see and hear more than you should. Harriet should not be banned.




4. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White



 A parents group in Kansas decided that any book featuring two talking animals must be the work of the devil, and so had E.B. White's 1952 work barred from classrooms. The group's central complaint was that humans are the highest level of God's creation, as shown by, they said, the fact we're "the only creatures that can communicate vocally. Showing lower life forms with human abilities is sacrilegious and disrespectful to God."


My thoughts: *sigh* This book is harmless. It's sad, sure! It is going to give a bunch of kids their first good book cry, but I don't see how anyone could think this book should be banned. I loved this as a child, still as an adult.




5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie



Parents have taken issue with its “excerpts on masturbation,” claiming it “encourages pornography.” According to PBS, the novel has also come under fire for “vulgarity, racism and anti-Christian content.” But Alexie himself seems unfazed about his popular book being banned, saying in 2013, “I knew it would.”


My thoughts: I have yet to read this book, so I can't say if the masturbation part was explicit. I've heard a lot about the book and about how important the story is. I don't think the masterbation scene is grounds to ban the book. Young people (the character is 14) are starting to learn about their bodies. We need to stop making the subject so taboo. For the most part, I think kids, especially teenagers should be able to read what they want, but parents should be aware of the content of the media they are consuming, because of course there are things that go over the line. The line is something you and your child should discuss.




6. Forever by Judy Blume




 This book has been banned a lot, for many reasons. Here are some. Promoting "the stranglehold of humanism on life in America. It demoralizes marital sex. Language, masturbation, birth control, and disobedience to parents. Pornography and explores areas God didn't intend to explore outside of marriage. It's basically a sexual 'how-to-do' book for junior high students. It glamorizes sex and puts ideas in their heads.


My thoughts: I'll be honest. I do not like this book. It is a fast read, so quite easy to read. Several things in this made me feel like I was all slime covered and uncomfortable. It is really a shame; I do remember her children books with fond memories. I still believe she is a good writer. I understand why this book may have been important for the time period it was written in, but I still think the relationship in the book was toxic and should not have been anyone's reference guide to love and relationships. I STILL DON'T THINK IT SHOULD BE BANNED! However, I would say this is a "how not to" guide in my opinion.




7. Goosebumps by R. L. Stine




Most of the reasons given for banning or challenging these are "too scary for intended age group."


My thoughts: Come on! Most of us on here enjoy horror, right? These books were so important to me when I was a kid. I loved reading them. (And Fear Street) I never thought they were too scary. Some people like the feeling of being spooked, even kids. If your kid is too scared of these books...news flash, they don't have to read them until they are ready. If they insist on reading them, despite getting nightmares, fear not, they are just horror lovers in training!




8. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling




A vocal group of Christians has been resistant to Harry’s charms from the start. Members of this community, who believe the Bible to be literal truth, campaigned vigorously to keep J.K. Rowling’s best-selling novels out of classrooms and libraries. They even staged public book burnings across the country, at which children and parents were invited to cast Rowling’s books into the flames. Their reasons: Portrayal of magic is likely to attract unsuspecting children to real-world witchcraft. When Harry disobeys his cruel Muggle guardians or flouts Dumbledore’s rules to save his friends, he actively encourages child readers to engage in lying and disobedience, which are explicitly forbidden by the Bible. The morals and ethics in Rowling’s fantasy tales are at best unclear, and at worst, patently unbiblical.


My thoughts: I cry. Book burning? Just no. I love these books, of course. I grew up with them. I can't imagine there are people out there not allowed to go to Hogwarts. To each their own, but please don't hurt the books.




9. Carrie by Stephen King




Another book with many reasons for being banned. Here are some: Trash (Stephen would hope you mean "good" trash, at least.) It could “harm” students, especially “younger girls.” It does not meet the standards of the community. Language, sexual descriptions and satanic killings.


My thoughts: It is horor. What do you expect there to be? Sunshine and daisies? I don't think King should be banned, though he does have *cough* some eyebrow raising content in his books (IT). I think, once again, parents should be aware of what their kids are reading. If you're an adult and think it should be banned for the above reasons... well, just don't read it and let others read it who might enjoy it. For the record, I enjoyed the book.




10. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson



Reasons for banning: It is soft-pornography and glorifies drinking, cursing, and premarital sex, as well as teaching principles contrary to the Bible.


My thoughts: I am disgusted. Do they not even read books before banning/challenging them? They are calling rape soft porn?! The underage sex was rape. Teens are not angels. Some do drink and curse, but this book did not go over the line as far as drinking and cursing. It tells the stories of a girl coping with the aftermath of being raped... ugh, I can't even. It is an important book. All ages and genders should read it. It ends, giving the reader a sense of hope. Imagine if you were raped or asulted or had another hard thing you were going through and you read a book like this that ended with "I am healing. I will be okay." It is the hope that one day you will also be okay.












(spoiler show)


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