2008 Banned Books Read

Banned Books Read in 2008

Last year I tracked the banned books which I read, and I’ve decided to do the same thing in 2008. Why? Because I strongly believe in our right to read freely. Throughout history, books have been banned, challenged, censored, and burned. Many authors have been jailed or forced to leave their countries because of protests about what they have written. Typically books are banned for religious, political or social reasons. In the USA, children’s books come under strong attack for a number of reasons.I am the owner of a Yahoo group which reads banned and censored books, as well as books written by banned or censored authors. Anyone is welcome to join us.

Here is my banned books list for 2008:

1. The Giver, by Lois Lowry (read January 1, 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)

The Giver is one of the most frequently challenged and banned books in middle schools across America. It has been referred to as “the suicide” book by some groups because it portrays a Utopian society that relies on euthanasia and suicide to create the perfect community. Read this article published in 2001 by USA Today. Despite the controversy, this is a beautifully written and conceived book. My view was that rather than support euthanasia and suicide, it shows the horror and devastating results of those acts. This is a great book for parents to discuss with their children.

2. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison (read February 25, 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)

Banned and challenged due to “language degrading to blacks,” violent imagery, sexually explicit and profane language and depictions of sexuality. Has been accused of promoting a “homosexual agenda”.

3. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe (read March 21, 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin has faced recent bans and challenges in Illinois schools and Southern States, and has been challenged by the NAACP for its alleged racist portrayal of African Americans and the use of the “N” word.

4. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (read June 13, 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)

he Afghan government banned the film because of a rape scene of a young boy and the ethnic tensions that the film highlights. “It showed the ethnic groups of Afghanistan in a bad light,” Mubarez said. Din Mohammad Rashed Mubarez, the deputy minister of the Ministry of Information and Culture said: “We respect freedom of speech, we support freedom of speech, but unfortunately we have difficulties in Afghan society, and if this film is shown in the cinemas, it is humiliating for one of our ethnic groups.”

The ACLU Foundation of Texas lists The Kite Runner on a list of banned or challenged books in Texas.

Farenheit 451 lists The Kite Runner as a banned book on its blog and at Library Thing.


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    • Anonymous on January 20, 2008 at 10:17

    We were discussing the whole concept of banning words in whatever context at the University the other day and you might be interested in the fact for commercial purposes there are now combinations of words that you can’t use in the UK because it would infringe the copyright for the 2012 Olympics. Thus, it is no longer permissible to write about ‘summer 2012’; I kid you not. If you never hear from me again you can assume that the censorship police have caught up with me and I’m breaking rocks in some prison for hardened criminals just like me.

    • Anonymous on January 20, 2008 at 11:10

    Now that is just plain ridiculous! And that is why I am so fiercely anti-banning – even books I might find offensive, I figure that people should vote with their pocketbooks. Don’t buy it, and I promise if it’s not making a buck for the publisher, it will go away. If you get jailed for writing summer 2012 in your blog posts or anywhere else, I promise I’ll stage a protest 🙂

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