Happy Banned Books Week everyone!
For those of you who don't know, banned books week is a week long event held from September 27th-October 3rd. The whole point of the event is to celebrate the freedom to read and draw attention to current and historical attempts at censorship.
Listen, it's my opinion that books should not be censored in any way, shape, or form and the fact that some places, like schools, try to restrict books? Absolutely ridiculous. This is the week that many people in the book community-authors, publishers, readers, literary agents, anyone who enjoys reading-get together to share in the belief that the freedom to seek and express ideas, even if the ideas themselves aren't popular or orthodox.
So, in honor of banned books week, I've put together a top 5 books: banned books edition. These are all books that I have read, and feel cover a multitude of issues.
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller.
This book is one that took the internet by storm. Marlon Bundo came to life courtesy of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, who was covering a story about how homophobic and generally terrible Mike Pence was, and how for some reason his wife and daughter worked on a book about their pet rabbit?
Well, John Oliver took that rabbit, Marlon Bundo, and instead of making it about a day in the life of a completely awful human being, made it a story about Marlon, a very special bunny, who fell in love with another boy bunny and had a fantastic day together. To be honest, I genuinely love this book. The story is adorable, the art is fantastic, and the voice actors they got for the audiobook do an amazing job.
So why is this book banned? Well, apparently a concern was it is "designed to pollute the morals of its readers". This led to the book being challenged and vandalized, due to its LGBTQ+ content and "political viewpoints", as explained in the American Library Association website.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Now, this I read after I started watching the TV series. I found that reading the book was actually much less stressful then watching the television show, and I don't know, there's something about the general everything that's happening right now that really makes me feel like this may become a reality sooner or later. There's a reason I'm trying to master the Spanish language and it's not just because I should have learned it growing up and didn't. I'm only 2 hours from the border if I need to flee.
So, why is it banned? Profanity, and "vulgarity and sexual overtones".
Animal Farm-George Orwell
Animal farm tells about a group of animals who rebel against their human farmer, and is really just a commentary on how any human society runs. Honestly, it's my favorite by George Orwell and I highly recommend it.
This book is banned because of its political speculations and theories, and shows indecent images of pigs drinking? Yeah, that's a weird one for me too.
His Dark Materials-Philip Pullman
My favorite book series ever! It's got action, adventure, romance, talking animals, everything you could ever want. I've talked about this book series so many times so if you're interested in hearing more about it check out my related links here.
So, why is the best series on Earth banned or restricted in some countries? It's "anti-religious themes", and violence, apparently.
Harry Potter series-JK Rowling.
This one is a pretty well known banned or restricted book series. So, why am I including it on my list?
This was the first time I'd ever had exposure to books being restricted or removed from schools entirely. I was in the 2nd grade when I heard about the other parents who'd been complaining about the fact that our school library and classrooms had Harry Potter available to read. Even at that age, I remember thinking how stupid that was-and my parents brought me up to think that stupid was a bad word, if that gives you any indication on how I felt at 7 years old about removing Harry Potter from schools.
Luckily, I wasn't one of those kids who wasn't allowed to read the Harry Potter books. In fact, I was up to date with the series by then and couldn't wait for the next one to come out.
But still, I'll always remember that book series as being my introduction to a world where certain books weren't "allowed" to be read in certain places.
What was your gateway book to the world of banned books? Do you have one? I'd love to hear it. Let me know what they are in the comments down below.
Thanks for reading guys, I'll talk to you next time.