Banned Book Week (Sept 30-Oct 6)

I can’t remember how I came across this tid bit of info that this week, September 30 – October 6, is Banned Book Week, but I somehow did. And as I checked out a list of banned and/or challenged books, I realized I’ve read a few of the books on the list, but not nearly enough of them! I need to read more banned books.

I even own a few of them:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey*
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

But the book that I always think of when I think of banned books is the children’s book Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman originally written in 1899. I have had this book ever since I was little and have always loved it! It took me years to understand, even if I don’t fully agree, why this book would be banned. I always just saw it as a story of a little boy who saved himself from being eaten by vain tigers. And when the tigers let their vanity get the best of themselves and turn into butter, the little boy and his dad took the fresh butter home to mom, who made lots of pancakes with fresh butter for them to eat. Ok so that is an over simplified version of the story, but to me, it was all very innocent.

Do you read banned and or challenged books?

*My little claim to fame is that I got to meet Ken Kesey a couple of years before he died when he was in town for the opening night of his play in my hometown.

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6 thoughts on “Banned Book Week (Sept 30-Oct 6)

  1. I've actually read almost all of the ones on the list. Tells about my morals, eh? 😀 Haven't read from some Hemingway and to my shame Joyce's Ulysseus (living in Ireland, I should probably give their authors another chance) and ones that, at least to me are a bit lesser known (Baldwin, London, Waugh, Dreiser etc.) . Some of them I absolutely love (Vonnegut, Orwell, Lolita, The Great Gatsby, Lord of the Flies), some I never really took to (Tony Morrison, Hemmingway..), but not because they were 'obscene' :)All this banning of things… It's funny always to look back on history and realize how certain values truly change as time goes on. I do believe in the freedom of art though. Although age limits on certain violence is definitely in need. As for sex.. I do not understand why we still think it is something we should be 'protected from'. (I blame organized religion.) Should it not be a beautiful and natural part of life.

  2. I read about banned / challenged books earlier this week in another blog too and have pledged to buy more of them. 🙂 I would love to find a copy of Little Black Sambo. My dad's name is Sam and many people call him Sambo (although he isn't black). But I know he would get a kick out of seeing a book with that title.

  3. Wow… This is a list of some of the greatest novels ever written. I also remember Little Black Sambo from my childhood! – it was a favorite library book, and like you I just thought he was a really clever little kid. I also enjoyed the Enid Blyton books about the Three Golliwogs, but have heard that these stories were later rewritten with teddy bears in the title role!

  4. I've got a copy of Little Black Sambo that someone gave me as a joke. I find the stereotypes a bit toe-curling. I think if I ever read it to the Boy it'll be to explain how the world has moved on since it was printed!

  5. It just shows you read a lot. No judging here. ;)I too agree it is interesting to see how values have changed over the years, although some things haven't changed or at least I hope they don't change! And I totally agree about sex.

  6. It absolutely amazes me to see WHY these books are banned. One of my all time favorite books EVER is obviously on there and I've always known it was a "banned book" in many circles – but To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the BEST books EVER to be written. Another one, that I didn't see on there, but I know a lot of places want banned is Huckleberry Finn. The problem is, society doesn't want to accept that history happened. They want to bury their heads and "remove" all instances of what history was TRULY about. Just because you don't like it and don't agree with it doesn't mean it didn't happen.I love books! 🙂

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