This week is Banned Books week and I’ve been following along and reading some of the articles and blog posts people have written. Today is the last day and I couldn’t not make a post about banned books so here we go. I love books as you already know but banning them is something that has always seemed a little bizarre to me. I totally understand that some books just aren’t suitable for younger readers but I don’t think that means they should be banned. Books can be banned or challenge for several reasons including offensive language, being sexually explicit and are deemed unsuitable for the age group. Today I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite books that have either been banned or challenged, the reason why they were banned/challenge and why I disagree.
1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling
Like most of the world I fell in love with the characters and the wizarding world that J.K. Rowling created. It was filled with adventures, mystery and friendships and that’s what I loved about this series, I still do. I love the idea of a magic world hidden inside our own but I don’t love that this book made it onto the banned books list. Harry Potter was banned because it apparently promotes witchcraft. This series was such an important part of my childhood. Growing up I went to the cinema every year to see the films. I used to pretend I had magic powers and I could open doors. I even used to go out looking for sticks searching through thousands looking for the perfect one that could be my very own magical wand.I used to dream about getting my acceptance letter. I don’t think it promotes witchcraft because firstly it’s about an eleven year old boy discovering he’s a wizard and secondly, it’s a magical story.
2. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I love this book more than I’ll ever be able to explain in words. This book is a beautifully written account of Charlie’s life as he writes letters to an anonymous reader. I was hooked on this book from the first couple of chapters right up until the end. In fact I didn’t even put this book down to wipe away the few tears I did have, that’s how good a book I found this. The book was banned for several reasons including that it deals with homosexuality, contains sexual content, offensive language, drugs, suicide and was deemed unsuitable for the age group. I agree, this book deals with a lot of things and at times it can be hard hitting but I felt that just created a sense of realness and truth. Nothing in this book is sugar-coated to make what happened seem like nothing important and something that can be just brushed off. What happened to Charlie was important. Things like this happen to people in real life so what was written wasn’t an idea strung up from nothing, it’s real.
3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I can’t give this series enough praise I absolutely fell in love with the plot and the characters and it’s such a fantastic read. This book was banned for it’s use of offensive language, occult/satanic violence, it’s anti-family and it’s anti-ethnic. Again, this series does deal with a lot but as a reader we know what’s going on in the series is wrong. Suzanne Collins was clever in the way that she wrote this, she never once glamorised the violence of the games. Of course, the Capitol rave about the games but as a reader we’re more disgusted by this rather than rooting for it. We gear behind Katniss and the rebels rather than Snow and the Capitol. This book is one of my favourite series to-date and it’s sad that a book that contains so many important themes, such as standing up for what’s right and for people who maybe can’t do it themselves, is on a banned books list.
4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Okay, I love this book I love the film and I love John Green. This book was banned simply because it deal with mortality and sex. Personally, I don’t agree with why this book was banned and maybe I’m biased because I love the book so much. Here’s the thing, The Fault in Our Stars is about so much more than death and sex. It’s about two people who fall in love despite knowing their days are numbered. It’s about living a full life despite knowing you’re dying. Death happens all around us children know death happens so banning a book because it contains death seems crazy to me. Personally I think this book should be read because the story is about so much more than what it was banned for.
5. Looking for Alaska by John Green
Again, I Iove this book and I love John Green. (I feel I say I love John Green a lot on this blog but the man is a genius!) Anyway, Looking for Alaska made the list due to the mention of drugs, alcohol, smoking, sexually explicit content and was deemed unsuited to the age group. It was said that it was okay to ban this book because it wasn’t a classic. Hold on, a lot of classics are still banned or challenged to this day but a book shouldn’t be banned or challenged just because it’s not a classic. John Green has this talent for being able to write about the real-world and the teenagers in it. He gives the a voice and after reading most of his work I love the voice he gives them. I can’t recommend this book enough to people
If anything, I’ve learned that sometimes the books that get banned or challenge most often are the one’s we should be reading. Going through a list of banned/challenged books I’ve read most of them and they’re some of the best books I’ve ever read. Just because something is banned or gets challenged a lot doesn’t mean it’s a bad book and you should stay away from it. Banned books can often teach us the most and they stay with us forever.
Which banned books are your favourites? Do you agree that the book banned should be banned? Leave your comments below and if I haven’t already read it I’ll add it to my TBR list. 🙂