Friday, October 1, 2010

Flirty Friday

I'm in the middle of having not a lot to talk about because I wore myself out chatting with tour guests. I think the characters are ignoring me. Hey, they get irritated when they feel left out. It happens a lot. So since they are being themselves, I wanted to post this article. My youngling loves Captain Underpants, so when I read this list, yeah, I laughed. It's sad. But first...Banned Book Week? Really? I mean, why would anyone ban a book? Just because the ideas aren't your own, doesn't mean it should be banned. That's silly. Yes, there are instances when things aren't popular or when they cause bodily harm. But I love this idea:

The American Library Association's Banned Books Week runs from Sept. 25 through Oct. 2 this year. Ever wonder how it started?

September 1982: Judith Krug establishes Banned Books Week
Banned Books Week is an annual event that takes place during the last week in September. It dates back to 1982, when librarian Judith Krug, then director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, established the event. She intended it to be a yearly tribute to writers, their works and the United States' Constitution that guarantees freedom of expression.

1992, 1995 and beyond: Family Friendly Libraries moves to ensure age-appropriate material selections in public libraries
Family Friendly Libraries was founded to help parents and educators who find reading materials that they consider inappropriate for the age groups they are said to serve. The organization stands in opposition to the ALA and Banned Books Week, which it considers an "annual publicity campaign" of the ALA to slam "requests made by citizens in local libraries for books to be relocated to a section aimed at older readers or removed due to objectionable content."

September 2002: Focus on the Family challenges banned books 'lie'
Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian organization, takes on the ALA. Tom Minnery, at the time the group's vice president of public policy, said, "The ALA has irresponsibly perpetrated the 'banned' books lie for too long." The organization objects to the use of the banned-books mantle to cover up the gradual inclusion of "sexually explicit or violent material for schoolchildren."

December 2008: Apple app store rejects Nook for 'objectionable content'
Banned books are not always of the ink-on-paper variety. In 2008 Apple made headlines when rejecting e-book title Knife Music for "objectionable content." Apple's software development guidelines state: "Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users."

2009 to 2010: Three books banned at U.S. schools
The Vampire Academy and House of Night series were banned at Henderson Junior High School (Texas). Running with Scissors was banned at Gaither and Riverview high schools (Florida) for "graphic pedophile situations" and other content unsuitable for younger readers.

Sept. 25 to Oct. 2, 2010: Banned Books Week
The ALA encourages readers to celebrate their freedom to read. In addition to the American Library Association, this year's commemoration is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the Library of Congress Center for the Book, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the National Association of College Stores, the Association of American Publishers and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.
(courtesy of:

And then there's this: (Had to add this)(courtesy of:
The pen is mightier than the sword and, apparently, it can also be more offensive. Many of us have read the most commonly banned and challenged classics, including "The Great Gatsby," "The Catcher in the Rye," "1984" and "Catch-22." Some of the other titles on the list of banned and challenged books may surprise you.

"Captain Underpants"
Some folks had their underwear in a bunch over this children's book series by Dav Pilkey. The "Captain Underpants" series -- about two fourth-graders and their superhero of a principal -- was one of the top 10 most frequently banned and challenged books for 2002, 2004 and 2005. The books were said to contain offensive language, to be sexually explicit and to be anti-family.

"The Lord of the Rings"
J.R.R Tolkien's book was burned, not in the fires of Mount Doom, but outside of a church in Alamogordo, N.M., in 2001 because it was viewed as "Satanic."

Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary
When it comes to banning books, even the dictionary gets no respect. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary was pulled from the shelf of a school in Menifee, Calif. The offending term in the dictionary? "Oral sex." The entry references of the dictionary also included cunnilingus and fellatio, which were not cited as the reasons for pulling the dictionary off the shelf. Merriam-Webster has been publishing language reference books for more than 150 years. They were bound to offend someone along the way.

"Fahrenheit 451"
Could a book about censorship really be banned? Absolutely. Enter "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury. The book has been banned by the Mississippi School District (1999). It's also No. 69 on the American Library Association's list of top banned/challenged books from 2000 to 2009.

Harry Potter series
One of the most surprising banned books sits at the No. 1 spot on the ALA list. It's not even a book. It's the entire Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter series is to teens what "Star Wars" was to an entire generation of now-40-somethings. The series has been challenged for occultism, Satanism, violence, being anti-family and having religious viewpoint. The series is No. 1 on the ALA's most challenged book list for 2000 to 2009.

"The Grapes of Wrath"
John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" is not just another classic on the list. The book was originally banned in California due to obscenity, but the catalyst behind the banning was based more in embarrassment: The people in the region did not like how their area and the workers' situation was portrayed in the novel.

"Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?"
Most parents of kids under 5 have seen Eric Carle's art accompanying the book by Bill Martin. The Texas Board of Education banned the book, in January 2010, because it thought the book was written by the same Bill Martin who penned the nonchildren's book "Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation."

"James and the Giant Peach"
Author Roald Dahl is no stranger to being banned. His book "The Witches" is on the ALA's 100 most frequently challenged books for 1990 to 1999 for its depictions of women and witches. But what about James and his peach? Was there witchcraft at work? James was disobedient and there was violence in the book.

American Heritage Dictionary (1969)
The American Heritage Dictionary of 1969 was also banned in 1978 from a library in Eldon, Mo., because of 39 objectionable words. The dictionary continued to cause trouble as far away as Alaska, where it was banned by the Anchorage School Board in 1987 for its inclusion of slang words, including "balls."

Grimm's Fairy Tales
Fairy tales have always held a precarious place in children's literature. On one side, readers have fairy-tale purists who lament the morals lost in fairy tales that have been too cleaned up. Others object to any violence in fairy tales. A couple of California school districts found a whole new reason to ban Grimm's Fairy Tales in 1989: misuse of alcohol. Little Red Riding Hood's basket for her grandmother includes wine. Maybe it wasn't a California red.

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