Welcome to The Bump House

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Mash-Up: Ode to Banned Books

First to the biz - A very warm welcome to Elliot Grace who had a beautiful article on his blog this week about where inspiration sometimes finds us.

My daughter received a mini-education on banned books from the local librarian this week. She came away incensed; especially since some of her favorites showed up on the list. She actually had a lot to say on the matter. You know, the righteous indignation of teens on the precipice of adulthood. First amendment, parental responsibility & the minority vs. the majority were just a few of her arguments. I can't say I didn't agree with the ideas she presented; however, her supporting evidence came out a bit spotty. Ah well, all that righteousness clouding the wheels.

Anyways, I found myself on the incendiary plane of the Speak Loudly debate. My daughter loved this book. And, through this & a few others, she found a love of reading that will carry her throughout her life. That is after all the goal is it not?

So, I perused the list of the bamned & a shock wave befell when several of my childhood favs appeared.

Of Mice & Men
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - 10th Grade panorama of the river scene got me an 'A+'
Brave New World
Are you there God? It's Me, Margaret

Judy Blume & a highlighter defined my middle school years. I have very vivid memories of the secretive huddle, the giggles & the enlightenment (not that we would have admitted it or even understood!). In that short span of years, Blume, whose 'Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing' spoke volumes to me, sparked a new generation of readers.

I also saw several others that define different periods in my own children's development. Captain Underpants has never been my first choice in a literary lunch box, but my son loved them. And, they inspired him to turn pages. What more can a parent ask for? TTYL & TTFN are the signposts of the techno-communication era - and that is the current generation. My daughter & most of her friends will have fond memories of these.

Roni Loren did a review of 'A Wrinkle in Time,' one of her favs. Several people joined Laurie Halse Anderson in defense of 'Speak.'

Books are an emotional pin-prick to the soul. What is on the current reading list is indicative of where readers are - emotionally, spiritually, educationally, etc. Books shape & define our world view. They entertain. They rake us through the poignant range of possibilities. All books speak - LOUDLY.

Have you hugged a banned book today?

Happy Writing,



  1. I have some books I'd like to see extra x-rated. And I even have some that I think deserve to be banned, especially those that the author has made up and insist is true. That gets me because of the nerve of the author to claim something false is real. But you won't find me throwing fits or fires either. We are intelligent beings able to assess what we believe while protecting our young.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  2. Nancy,
    I agree with you on all counts. You bring up VERY valid points.

  3. I think whenever a book has something important to say about the human condition, someone's waiting to ban it because it doesn't agree with them. [on several levels]

  4. Kay,
    You're right on. My theory has always been, if you don't like it - don't look. Voting, driving, raising children; responsibilities. "Can't read this book, but hey, we'll give you the keys to a 2000 lb. killing machine!" Seems a little backwards to me.