100 Banned Books (31-40)

Chugging along…maybe this will be done in time for Banned Books Week…

Read the rest of the list HERE.

TITLE: Kaffir Boy
AUTHOR: Mark Mathabane
ISBN: 0684848287
Plot Summary: This is the author’s account of what it was like to grow up under South Africa’s apartheid regime.
Complaints: Sexual content, offensive language
Removed from sophomore reading list at Armijo High School in Fairfield, CA (2000) due to its sexual content.
Solonor Says Ban It Because: We don’t have apartheid here. There’s no reason for kids to learn about it.

TITLE: Blubber
AUTHOR: Judy Blume
ISBN: 0440407079
Plot Summary: Jill goes along with the rest of the fifth-grade class in tormenting Linda, her classmate, but then finds out what it’s like when she, too, becomes a target.
Aden says: I remember reading this when I was younger, and crying because I know what the ridiculed girl went through. While it might be hard for kids of today to identify with characters from another time, the ideas and moral of the book is something that should not be taken away.
Complaints: Offensive language, unsuited to age group
The characters curse and the mean-spirited ringleader is never punished for her cruelty.
Solonor Says Ban It Because: It’s mean. It shows kids how to be mean. What do you mean kids are supposed to feel sympathy? They’re kids! They don’t know about that yet.
Texas public schools banned 42 books last year

TITLE: Killing Mr. Griffin
AUTHOR: Lois Duncan
ISBN: 0440945151
Plot Summary: A group of teens hate their English teacher. So, they kidnap him–just to scare him–but he dies, and the kids are left to deal with the consequences…or hide from them…
Complaints: Offensive language, violence, sexual content
Solonor Says Ban It Because: Duh. It will make kids want to kill their teachers.
Homework Helpers

TITLE: Halloween ABC
AUTHOR: Eve Merriam
ISBN: 068980198X
Plot Summary: Silly Halloween poems and art help teach kindergarteners the alphabet.
Complaints: Promotes Satanism
Halloween is of pagan origin and the book is “evil.” Challenged at the Douglas County Library in Roseburg, Oreg. (1989) because the book encourages devil worshipping. Challenged at the Howard County, Md. School libraries (1991) because “there should be an effort to tone down Halloween and there should not be books about it in the schools.” Challenged in the Wichita, Kans. Public schools (1991) because it is “satanic and disgusting.” Challenged at the Acres Green Elementary School in Douglas County, Colo. (1992). Challenged and retained, but will be shelved with other words generally available only to older students and won’t be used in future Halloween displays at the Federal Way School District in Seattle, Wash. (1992). The compromise was for a group of parents who objected to the book’s satanic references. Challenged, but retained in the Othello, Wash. Elementary school libraries (1993) because the book “promotes violent criminal and deviant behavior.” Challenged but retained at the Ennis, Texas Public Library (1993). Challenged in the Cameron Elementary School library in Rice Lake, Wis. (1993). Because the “poems promote satanism, murder, and suicide.” The book was retained. Challenged in the Spokane, Wash. School District library (1994) by a father who found the poems morbid and satanic. In particular, the parent disapproved of one poem which “appears to be a chant calling forth the Devil.” Challenged in the Sandwich, Mass. Public Library (1995) because it is “too violent for young children.”
Solonor Says Ban It Because: ‘Trick or treat’ is a code phrase for ‘Worship Lucifer!’
ACLU of Washington: Religious Freedom

TITLE: We All Fall Down
AUTHOR: Robert Cormier
ISBN: 0440215560
Plot Summary: Four boys vandalize a Cape Code home and assault the 14-year-old girl that lives there. As she lays in a coma, her sister unwittingly falls in love with one of the thugs, and they are all stalked by ‘The Avenger’.
Complaints: Violence, sex, offensive language
Pulled out of elementary and junior high school libraries in Stockton after parents complained that it glorifies alcoholism and violence, contains a rape scene and its characters use too much profanity.
Solonor Says Ban It Because: Again, I say that kids cannot empathize with anyone properly. You keep feeding them this stuff, and they’re going to grow up to be serial killers. Did I finish reading the book? Hell no!
Natrona panel backs contested book

TITLE: Final Exit
AUTHOR: Derek Humphry
ISBN: 0440507855
Plot Summary: A look at euthanasia, including statements of the position of various religious denominations on the subject.
Complaints: Promotes suicide
Solonor Says Ban It Because: Um, if you put this in front of kids, then they’re going to ask questions, and I don’t feel like answering them!
A sober guide to ending it all

TITLE: The Handmaid’s Tale
AUTHOR: Margaret Atwood
ISBN: 038549081X
Plot Summary: Offred is a Handmaid of the Republic of Gilead, where women do not control their own bodies. Women are no longer allowed to read, and once a month she must subject herself to ‘the Commander’ and pray he will make her pregnant–or she will be worthless.
Word from the mouse: …like 1984 except from a female pov. Full Review
Complaints: Sexual themes, offensive language
Removed from the Chicopee, Mass. High School English class reading list because it contains profanity and sex.
Solonor Says Ban It Because: Hey! Don’t ban this one! It’s every Bubba’s paradise!
Book-A-Minute SF/F: The Handmaid’s Tale

TITLE: Julie of the Wolves
AUTHOR: Jean Craighead George
ISBN: 0064400581
Plot Summary: An Eskimo girl runs away from home and a forced marriage, gets lost on the Tundra, and is befriended by a pack of wolves.
Complaints: Sexual themes, anti-family
Challenged in Mexico, Mo. (1982) because of the book’s “socialist, communist, evolutionary, and anti-family themes.” Challenged in Littleton, Colo. (1989) school libraries because “the subject matter was better suited to older students, not sixth graders.” Challenged at the Erie Elementary School in Chandler, Ariz. (1994) because the book includes a passage that some parents found inappropriate in which a man forcibly kisses his wife. Challenged in the classrooms and school libraries in Palmdale, Calif. (1995) because the book describes a rape. Removed from the sixth-grade curriculum of the New Brighton Area School District in Pulaski Township, Pa. (1996) because of a graphic marital rape scene. Challenged at the Hanson Lane Elementary School in Ramona, Calif. (1996) because the award-winning book includes an attempted rape of a 13-year-old girl.
Solonor Says Ban It Because: Don’t you see the theme here? Almost all of these books are about gays, women and minorities. We don’t need to stir up this kind of trouble in schools.
ALA Editions: Interview with Pat Scales

TITLE: The Bluest Eye
AUTHOR: Toni Morrison
ISBN: 0452273056
Plot Summary: 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove is a black girl who prays that her eyes will turn blue, so that she will be beautiful.
Complaints: Sexual themes, offensive language, racial themes
Solonor Says Ban It Because: More porn disguised as black suffrage. Of course, the little girl wants to have blue eyes and blonde hair! What’s wrong with that?
19th Annual Literary Festival–Old Dominion University

TITLE: The ‘What’s Happening to My Body?’ Book for Girls
AUTHOR: Lynda Maderas
ISBN: 1557044449
Plot Summary: A discussion of the changes that take place for girls during puberty.
Complaints: Sexual themes
Missing from the Northside Intermediate School library in Milton, Wis. (1994) after a parent complained “I don’t think my ten-year-old son, or anyone’s, needs to know that stuff.” Challenged, but retained at the Washoe County Library System in Reno, Nev. (1994) because “nobody in their right mind would give a book like that to children on their own, except the library.”
Solonor Says Ban It Because: Eww! I don’t want to hear about this! I’m putting my hands over my ears, until you get rid of this book…lalalalalalalala…
St. Charles Public Library–The Facts of Life

NEXT: 100 Banned Books (41-50)

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One Response to 100 Banned Books (31-40)

  1. F. McSweeny! says:

    Judy FUCKING Blume? Good god. Ok tomorrow I’m looking at this a little deeper. Thanks for the heads up.

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