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.
- In 1988, a Colorado librarian locked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in a vault because she thought it "espoused a poor philosophy of life." Seriously! LMAO!!
- 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...
Congratulations, Susan!! Email me with your address and I'll get this book in the mail to you!