10 controversial kids' books
On International Children's Book Day, find out why these titles have been challenged or banned.
Books are banned every day. Typically, school libraries, parent organizations, churches, religious groups and school boards are the first line of attack against books, reports The Huffington Post.
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The American Library Association has more than 10,676 challenges on record. “Sexually explicit content” tops the list of reasons why children’s books are banned, followed by “offensive language” and “violence.”
Here are 10 popular children's classics and the reasons why attempts were made to remove them from circulation, according to "Banned Books: Challenging our Freedom to Read,” 2010 edition, by Robert P. Doyle:
The book: "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine C. L'Engle
The problem: In 1996, a parent requested the book be pulled from a school library because it allegedly undermines religious beliefs.
The book: "Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm" by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm K. Grimm
The problem: It was challenged in 1994 for racism and violence, then restricted at some elementary schools due to its excessive violence, negative portrayals of female characters and anti-Semitic references.
The book: "Hansel and Gretel" by Jacob Grimm
The problem: The story was challenged in 1992 because it teaches children that it is acceptable to kill witches and paints witches as child-eating monsters.
The book: "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
The problem: Since 1999 to the present day, multiple attempts have been made to remove the books from schools and public libraries due to themes of witchcraft, wizardry, cults, Satanism, death, hate and dark content.
The book: "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl
The problem: In 1999, the book was banned from an elementary school because it contains the word "ass."
The book: "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis
The problem: The book was challenged in 1990 because it depicts "graphic violence, mysticism and gore."
The book: "The Little Mermaid" by Hans Christian Andersen
The problem: In 1994, an edition with illustrations of bare-breasted mermaids was challenged because it was "pornographic" and contained "satanic pictures."
The book: "Little Red Riding Hood" by Jacob Grimm
The problem: In 1991, a teacher initiated a complaint that the book was violent because of the actions of the wolf. The teacher questioned the appropriateness of the little girl taking wine to her grandmother and her grandmother later drinking the wine.
The book: "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss
The problem: In 1989, the book was challenged because it "criminalizes the foresting industry."
The book: "Snow White" By Jacob Grimm
The problem: In 1992, the story was restricted to students with parental permission at some public school libraries because of its graphic violence: a hunter kills a wild boar, and a wicked witch orders Snow White's heart torn out.
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The bottom line: Does banning books protect children?
“As a parent and teacher, I've found that placing a book under censorship causes most kids to search it out and read it,” Marilisa Kinney Sachteleben wrote in a Yahoo article. “Banning is great advertisement for kids and especially adolescents.”
Tell us: Do you think banning books protects children?
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Nothing should be banned, but put into age appropriate groups. This would require diligence on the part of the parents (good luck with that). Btw, is the Bible on the banned list? It has some awful stories, but some people think that's ok while Harry Potter is not. That drives me crazy. Please excuse me while I take a ride on my hippogriff to meet with my friends for second breakfast before we travel through the wardrobe.
I think that it is our responsibility to our children to allow them to read books and learn and challenge ideas. Not everything is going to be safe and perfect.... If you talk to your children about whats real and allow them to have questions then we raise smart quizzical little people that have learned thoughts and ideas from many sources and not just the ideas certain groups think they should see and read. My love of reading comes from reading fantasy books with far fetched ideas it allowed me to imagine somethng more...
Being a person who has always enjoyed reading I took it upon myself to get some more information on this whole book banning.
According to the American Library Association list of top 100 books that were challenged in the last decade that caught my eye
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
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