What that means is, a book was published, someone found it offensive, and declared that it should not be available, either for sale or in public libraries. It happens to this day both in other countries and in the U.S. There have even been gatherings where people piled the books up and set them on fire. These were typically religious extremists, but other groups have decided that some books were not fit to be available and burned those as well.
You might be surprised to see what some of them were, and why they were banned. Such as:
"Fahrenheit 451," by Ray Bradbury
Oddly, this book included references to burning books.
'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' by Mark Twain
This book used the derogatory "N" word, which is highly offensive and enough in this instance to ban the book.
"The Catcher In The Rye" by J.D. Salinger
It is all about teenage angst (longing and confusion)
"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
This book was thought to promote white supremacy and also used the "N" word
"The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck
The book was banned for using 'vulgar' language.
"Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank
It was banned because it was depressing. Seriously??
And check out some banned books that will probably surprise you more:
- the "Harry Potter" series, because it promoted sorcery and wizardry
- The Bible (still banned in North Korea)
- The Quran
- "Little Red Riding Hood" because she had wine in her basket
- "Sleeping Beauty" which was thought to promote witchcraft and magic
- "Harriet the Spy" by Louise Fitzgerald, for teaching children to spy, back-talk, and curse
- "Where's Waldo" by Marvin Handford, because in one book there is a partially-exposed woman's breast. And--so what if there is?
- "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe, because it was anti-slavery
- "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Remarque-banned for insulting the Nazis in WWII
As well as more recently written books---
- "The Hunger Games"
- "Gossip Girl"
- "Captain Underpants"
Why?? Here is a source of banned books and the 'reasons' they were banned:
Have you already read some of these books? Let's hope so!!
Another list of banned books:
Do you think some books should be banned? By whom? Why? What effect does forbidding something usually have?
*See also last week's post about the First Amendment and Censorship*