This year, Banned Books Week brings to mind a question, one that's rarely asked:
Is our children learning?
Wait ... that's the wrong rarely-asked question. The one we really have in mind is:
Why the hell not ban a few books?
Really, now. There are plenty of books - including ones on ALA's annual list - that libraries and schools could do without. Instead of fighting challenges to these titles, lets just save that time and energy for something more productive, like staff parties. Or save ourselves even more trouble by getting rid of them (the books, not staff parties) even if they're not challenged where we work.
So let's elect to ban a few books ...
Reason for Banning
|The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling||That bitch has enough money. Do we really need to buy a gazillion copies of HP6 when it comes out?|
|Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman (illustrated by Diana Souza)||Where's all the hot girl-on-girl action? A big disappointment.|
|The Captain Underpants series, by Dav Pilkey||Tightey-whiteys? We don't think so.|
|The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain||Yo, Sam! Write an actual ending for this thing, and then we'll talk.|
|The Series of Unfortunate Events series, by Lemony Snicket||Jim Carrey is starring in the movies. Come to think of it, maybe we ought to ban How the Grinch Stole Christmas, too.|
|Just about any book challenged from a high school reading list||Do you think the kids were really going to read it anyway? Just assign the Cliffs Notes instead.|
|Deck the Halls in Plastic Canvas, editor-in-chief Anne Van Wagner Childs*||What's with all the cheesy Christmas decorations? We thought this was going to be a collection of David Sedaris stories.|
* Not on ALA's list, but we were personally shocked to find this one in the library.
(Our Banned Books Week observance last year took the form of The
Top 25 Would-Be-Banned Children's Books.)
Copyright 2004 Brian Smith. Non-commercial distribution of material from The Laughing Librarian is permitted only if the original URL and this copyright notice is included. All commercial distribution is prohibited without written consent of and large cash payments to the author.