Monday, September 27, 2010

Rebel With a Cause

I LOVE Banned Books Week. I suppose it's just the rebellious child in me rearing her laughing head, but seriously, if you read the list of books that have been challenged over the years, you have to wonder...WHY??!!

First off, anytime a book is challenged, it gets more attention. People are naturally curious. They figure if someone doesn't want me reading that book, there must be something good inside! So the person trying to get the book removed usually ends up increasing sales for the author. Which could actually be a good thing.

In fact, when I'm a published author, I might PAY people to challenge my books. Because based on some of the past challenges, I'm quite sure every book in print has something offensive in it.

Take for instance one of my son's favorite authors: Roald Dahl. I think we own every book the man ever wrote because in 3rd grade, my son was obsessed with Dahl and read his books multiple times. I never would have guessed that Dahl made the banned list. But back in 1995, a mother in Virginia tried to ban him from her child's elementary school library because in Dahl's books, “children misbehave and take retribution on adults, and there’s never, ever a consequence for their actions."


So obviously this woman has never read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Because last time I checked, each of those obnoxious children paid huge consequences for misbehaving. HUGE.

But of course, the banners don't notice details like that. And this isn't the first or last time Dahl's books have come under fire.
  • James and the Giant Peach was challenged four times in the 90s for crude language, encouraging children to disobey their parents and promoting drugs and violence. Apparently there's a dicier copy floating around than the one I read! 
  • The Witches has been banned for its depiction of women and witches. Personally, I adored the cigar chomping grandma :)

Believe it or not, as recently as 2002, Roald Dahl made the top ten list of most frequently challenged authors. Crazy, right?

Last year I had a belated Banned Books Week celebration where I gave away a copy of And Tango Makes Three, an adorable picture book that was #2 on the list of most challenged books for the year. This year, the choice is yours. Leave a comment on this post and I'll send you your choice of any children's book written by Roald Dahl. Because sometimes it's fun to rebel, even if it's just a little :D

------------------------------------

And now, drum roll please...


According to Random.org, the winner of Matthew Kirby's book, The Clockwork Three, is...



Susan Mills


Congratulations, Susan!! Email me with your address and I'll get this book in the mail to you!

17 comments:

Christine Fonseca said...

Congrats Susan...and yeah, the whole banned book idea is just just crazy to me. I so don't get it!

Clarissa Draper said...

Dahl was a spy! That makes him cool in my book!

CD

Talei said...

Gosh, thats interesting reading about Dahl and his banned books. *whispers* I had no idea.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Apparently I didn't read that banned version of James and the Giant Peach, either.

I agree with you about how banning books does wonder for sales. :)

Same things happens when the Catholic church frowns on a movie. No duh that people are going to want to see it after that. ;)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I continue to be astounded by the books that get challenged. Clearly, in some cases these folks read a different version than I did, or they didn't read at all, just mouthed off without knowledge. I'm glad a lot of us speak up in adoration of many of these books-under-siege.

j.leigh.bailey said...

Tell you what...I'll make a fuss about your book if you do the same for me. Win-win and bunches of money, right? :D

A town in New Mexico banned all of Tolkein's works because the Lord of the Rings promoted Satanism. Where do they get this stuff?

And Dahl? I would never have guessed. Weird.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. I hadn't thought of Roald Dahl as a banned author! My son (a 3rd grader) is currently going through the Dahl obsession. We have them ALL and he is working his way through them - and loving it!! :-)

JEM said...

Woah, there are drugs in James and the Giant Peach? I've never read it, but now I want to!

Laura Pauling said...

Sometimes there's just nothing you can do about it. Some people take books too literally and forget they are fiction - and forget that kids know the difference b/t life and fiction, just like adults do! James and the Giant Peach has to be one of my favs.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I know authors who relish having their books on that list - more publicity for them.

Carolyn V. said...

Serious? I never knew that about Dahl. I mean...really? Charlie and the Chocolate factory was banned. Amazing.

Susan R. Mills said...

Yeah for me!!!! Thank you so much! As far as banned books go, I agree with you; banning them only creates more interest. I will also pay someone to challenge my book if that's what it means. Thanks again for the contest and for letting me win! :)

Rebekah Joy Plett said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such encouraging comments.

I loved reading this post. Now I want to go write something racy.

Lenny Lee! said...

hi miss sherri! wow i didnt ever know that a book could get banned. is there some place that says it cant be read any more? i could want to know more about that. it would be pretty sad to do a good book and the get it banned so no one could read it. i think people could still get it but only not legal.
...hugs from lenny

Robert Guthrie said...

Book banning... the Nazi's did something like that, burning. Only a difference of two letters. Same attempted mind control.

Suzanne Casamento said...

My friend sent me the Top 100 Banned Books of all time last night. Ridiculous. They're all important books. Like you asked, "WHY?!"

Dawn Simon said...

Congrats, Susan!

Nice post, as always. When I recently looked at the list of the most challenged books in the last decade, I had the same reaction: WHY?! So many WONDERFUL books have been challenged. It's crazy, isn't it?

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