Monday, June 25, 2007

Banned Books Challenge Completed

Well I've officially completed the Banned Books Challenge. Right down to the wire in true Chris form. I've really enjoyed this challenge. It's given me the opportunity to read quite a few books that I feel that I should've read ages ago and to revisit books that I have read ages ago and wanted to read again.

It's amazing how often books are challenged these days and the reasons why they are challenged are ridiculous. In challenging these books and in banning these books, we are telling our children not to think outside of the box. We're telling our children to hold a very narrow view of life and to shelter themselves from the reality of what life is. Everything is not candy coated in the real world and I think we do a very grave injustice to our children by banning books. So many wonderful life lessons and wonderful stories are being taken away from our children. How many kids never experienced Lewis Carroll's Wonderland? How many children never journeyed into Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time because of censors? It's a sad thing that these books are being held from children.

Not all of these books are children's books. I agree that not all are appropriate for children. But all have their place in the world. Kurt Vonnegut, Aldous Huxley, and Ray Bradbury had amazing things to say with their magnificent works, yet someone decided that their right to free speech should be banned. And in a way, the people who banned those books prove the importance of those books.

So I say that we make a special effort to embrace these books and cherish the stories that they tell. Here are the ones that I embraced during this challenge:

1. The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
3. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
4. Grendel by John Gardner
5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
6. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
7. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle


Bellezza said...

I've only read TWO on your whole list (the last two). How embarrassing is that? I'm torn between entering more Challenges, and just taking some pressure off of myself for the summer. It's nice to discuss books with everyone, but it does become rather an obligation to me, being the compulsive person I am.

Chris said...

I totally know how you feel Bellezza! These challenges can get to be a bit overwhelming! I'm very compulsive too and HAVE to finish everything that I commit too, so they can become quite the obligation!

cj said...

Wait... They banned Farnheit 451? The irony of that is rather scary.

And I agree. Books shouldn't be banned but I do reserve a parents right to say they don't want their child reading something they don't consider appropriate.


Chris said...

Yeah, I almost laughed at Fahrenheit 451 being banned. Isn't that stupid? Totally agree with you. Parents have every right to not want their children reading Slaughterhouse Five at 7 years old...duh! But that's no reason to ban the book all together! Geez...these people.

Rhinoa said...

Congratulations on completeing your challenge! I have only read one on your list (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - I didn't realise this had been banned), but I have Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 on my list to read soon.

DesLily said...

As for banning books for young adults/ and younger.. maybe they should just up the age they suggest read it.. duh. How hard could that be?

Stephanie said...

What a great bunch of books. I have Fahrenheit home from the library now. I read it in school, but thought I would read it again! I have most of those books around here somewhere.

Flowers for Algernon was fantastic. Another book that mad me cry!

Chris said...

Both of those were so great Rhinoa. Especially Brave New World! One of my favorite reads this year so far. I loved it! Hope you enjoy it!

Deslily, Well that would just be to logical wouldn't it?? ;)

Steph, It was a great bunch of books! I enjoyed them all (except Grendel :() Flowers for Algernon was amazing! I'm trying to get everyone I know to read that book!

Carl V. said...

Congratulations on finishing this one. Down to the wire is still making it! You've read some great books for this, several that I want to get to sometime.

Chris said...

That's mainly why I did this challenge Carl...they were books that I "wanted to get to" so I figured that the challenge would make me get to them..and it did! You should join in next year!