To wrap up Banned Books Week, last Saturday we invited our readers to post pictures of themseles with their favorite Banned Book(s), and we agreed to do the same!
Here are the results -scroll to the end to find out who won our giveaway prize!
I don’t have all my books with me right now, otherwise I’d have just taken a picture with my bookshelf, but Lord of the Flies is a good stand in for the rest of them. I found the book thought-provoking and fascinating when I read it freshman year of high school and I’m pretty sure my education would have been poorer without it.
Being at school right now, I unfortunately don’t have access to my books. Otherwise, I’d also be holding THE GOLDEN COMPASS (though I only have the spanish translation!) and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. My school bookstore actually has a special “Banned Books” display going on right now, though, so I nabbed this book to take a picture! I was so surprised to find it there….right next to MEIN KAMPF no less!
Because I couldn’t fit all the books in (and my webcam sucks), you can’t really tell which books are there. But I have: Speak, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Amulet of Samarkand, and His Dark Materials books 2 and 3 (The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass). I’ve lent my copy of The Golden Compass to someone, so sadly I couldn’t take a picture with it!
-Vanessa Di Gregorio
LOLITA has been interpreted in many different ways – as a metaphor for the loss of power of the “old” countries of Europe to the “young” country of the United States, as a metaphor for the oppression of individuals by a totalitarian government – yet it has never been banned for political reasons. French officials banned LOLITA for being “obscene,” as did the United Kingdom, Argentina, New Zealand (uncensored 1964) and South Africa. This amazes me, because although I read it at a very young age, I never thought of it as “the book with sex in it,” but rather as the book with the most lyrical prose I’d ever read.
-Sarah J. Maas
You can’t really tell, but behind me is every banned book I own, from Harry Potter to Fight Club. Silence of the Lambs, Divine Secrets of the Ya -Ya Sisterhood, Lolita, A Wrinkle in Time, Giovanni’s Room, The Virgin Suicides, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Good Earth, A Passage to India, Postsecret, and The Bluest Eye.
And, of course, my favorite… Beloved, by Toni Morrison.
-Savannah J. Foley
The three books in the picture are HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE, THE GOLDEN COMPASS, and a Serbian Cyrillic version of the Bible (Serbian because I don’t own an English version). Harry Potter I included for the obvious “Tis witchcraft!” reasons; Golden Compass is there for the supposed promotion of Atheism; the Bible is actually there for reasons different from just “I’m a Christian too.” I am a Christian, traditionally, but I’m not particularly devout.
The reason I included it is because there was a time when you weren’t allowed to have Bibles that weren’t in Latin. You could say they were “challenged”. This was because of supposed mistranslations and biases that would appear in, for example, English Bibles, but I thought it was interesting to note that a book whose content pushes certain people to ban other books was once banned itself.
Another interesting thing that they say, is that the reason it was only allowed in Latin was so that only Church men and women and very highly educated people (they were usually rich) would be able to read it. In a corrupt area, it could’ve easily led to the manipulation of a devout public.
And last little interesting tidbit.
In Latin, the word liber means book. Liber also means freedom.
The book I took a picture with is Wild Swans by Jung Chang. It hasn`t caused any controversy in the United States. In fact, it`s banned in China for political reasons, because the author is critical of the Communist Party. I hope that`s fine, because most of the banned books mentioned on the blog are mostly YA that have been challenged in the United States. I thought it would be nice to bring attention to a book that is banned for reasons that have nothing to do with bad language or sex. Maybe this will highlight the fact that compared to the US, other countries have it worse. Just imagine not being able to voice your political opinions!
Thanks for spreading the word; you guys rock as always. ❤
Hi guys! I’m Heather, aka Postaxial. I’ve attached my photo for your banned books week blog. I can’t wait to see everyone else’s- this was a really great idea 🙂
Here I am pictured with (from top left to bottom right): SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson, Looking for Alaska by John Green, Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel, 1984 by George Orwell, Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, The Boy In Striped Pajamas by John Boyne [technically was only challenged, not officially banned – but I love it too much to leave it out], my 4 favorite Gossip Girl books [because the entire series would take up the whole picture], and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Other books that I have read but sadly don’t own (or ran out of money before I could buy them) include: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, Things My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Pigman by Paul Zindel, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, TTYL by Lauren Myracle, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Catcher In the Rye by JD Salinger, and Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. Save for Things My Mother Doesn’t Know and TTYL [both of which I checked out of my school’s library], all those other books listed were required reading for my school. So I guess that means my high school promoted promiscuity, satanism, racism, and demoralization, right?
I am also wearing my cross necklace and a bracelet with Jesus and Mary and several other holy figures painted onto it. As you can see by my pillow shaped like a cross and the Holy Bible resting on top — I AM A PROUD CHRISTIAN WHO THINKS BANNING BOOKS GOES AGAINST OTHERS’ GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS TO CHOOSE!!
Here’s my shoddy attempt at a nice photo of me with my favourite banned book. As you can see, I took large amounts of effort to make it look interesting (obvious sarcasm). But yes, I love TKAMB. This novel is one of the great American reads! My – I might have had a crush on Atticus at one point. With regards to banned books, well, I think it’s absolutely shocking. Books are supposed to be about issues and ideas, we can hardly quash human thought and reflection without obliterating freedom and truth. Book inception? Haha.
Here’s my entry for the banned book weeks picture post 🙂 My choice is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, which is most frequently banned in middle schools. I suppose because it’s narrated by a fourteen-year-old girl, the first thought is that it’s for that age group, and then they see it’s about a girl being raped and killed and automatically set off the alarms.
And the winner of the giveaway prize, selected through an online name picker, is….
Thank you to everyone who took a picture, commented, blogged, or read a banned book this week!