Banned books week is not over yet – and we’re not done sharing our favorite ones. In our blog’s short history we have reviewed two books that have also been banned. In November we reviewed A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, and Nickel and Dimed. Both books we loved. When I first read Nickel and Dimed, I had no idea it was banned. And instead of feeling the book, or the author, should be censored – I felt it was a book everyone should be forced to read. Especially with the recent arguments about a living wage – which is exactly what the author is promoting, even 13 years ago when the book was originally published.
I had heard about A Bad Boy in article in the newspaper, and the series of complaints launched against the book in a local school district. Now, this wasn’t required reading for anyone, parents were fighting to get the book pulled off school library shelves. After reading the book myself, I wasn’t shocked by anything too graphic. Nothing I felt the teen audience couldn’t handle – or hadn’t read or seen somewhere else.
There were a few books that I didn’t put on my list earlier this week that I love. John Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors – and several of his books have been banned. For various reasons, East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men, have all been banned at some point.
Censorship is a real thing – and it goes beyond these books. Recently, censorship in textbooks has become a heated issue. Just this week I’ve read about censorship in Texas and Colorado, specifically in history textbooks. This is more than censorship – this seems more like trying to rewrite history. High school students in Colorado walked out in protest, and according to the Huffington Post the conservative school board just outside of Denver “has attracted the same kind of civil disobedience it had hoped to gloss over in the classroom”. I’m all for censorship when it comes to putting warning labels on music with explicit lyrics or violent video games. I will never support this type of censorship in the classroom, or the banning of books.