[Book Display] Banned Books Week 2015

OK folks, confession time.

I have never done a banned books display.  Somehow I've managed to miss being in place to do a display around Banned Books Week for the past few years.

So I'm quite happy to say I put one together this year.

Early Photo of the Main Display

Top shelf of Display
Banned Books Week 2015 (or, if you're looking to have fun with mixing up acronyms you can always use BBW) kicks off at the end of Sept, so it made sense to me to have the display for the preceding weeks.

Largely the response to the display has been "people still ban books?" or "someone wanted to ban ____?"  Which, by and large, is heartening.  But people do ban books, and I've gotten to hear parents harangue their child for watching Teen Titans or reading Harry Potter because they contain "witchcraft."

Speaking of which, someone just borrowed some items from the display, so it's a good time to add some Harry Potter to it (as well as The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)

Not everyone is thrilled with the display.  In particular someone seems to object to the inclusion of Saga Volume 1... or at least objects to the cover.  Every now and then I walk by the display to see that someone has turned the book around to hide the cover.

Such blatant display of breasts.

The horror.  The shame.

We're all rather amused by it, to be honest.

There's a lot of books that have been challenged and/or banned over the years, which makes finding an easily digestible comprehensive list is a bit of a bear.  I pieced my list together from multiple sources, trimming down by items in our collection.  Some items show up across sources, some show up sporadically, others I know about from current events.

Freedom to Read is something that's been important to me before I even understood it as a concept, finding the banning and censorship of materials reactionary and absurd.

My mom was fantastic in supporting me as an inquisitive reader and as an individual capable of reasoning.  She definitely let me read things that were way over my head, knowing that if I needed to ask, I would.  I can tell you there were loads of things that went completely over my head, which has made re-reading books as an adult a source of amusement as I go "wait... how'd I miss THAT?"  I also, as an interesting side effect, had a much healthier concept of issues relating to sex and drugs than most of my classmates, even if much of what I was reading was fiction.

On the flip side, I can honestly say that my dad had little to no idea what I was reading or the contents of what I was reading, and that was deliberate.  I took advantage of the fact that my dad wasn't a reader, because I knew that he wouldn't approve of most of what I read.  I mean, I was sent out of the room during the "draw me like one of your French girls" scene in Titanic, even though I was a girl in my teens.  My book collection at his home was extremely minimal, a mix of picture books/easy readers from when I was little, the Mandie books, L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables and her Emily of New Moon series, the first two Harry Potter books, a few Star Wars novels, and the two Mercades Lackey novels I bought myself.  That was what I had at my dad's when I graduated high school.  Line that up with someone who was reading close to 200 books a year, and who started reading Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer Bradley in 3rd grade.
"It was a shocking thing to say and I knew it was a shocking thing to
say. But no one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has
the right to spend their life without being offended."- Philip Pullman
So the display itself has evolved.  The addition of yellow caution tape occurred after I took photos (some awesome volunteers found it for me), and obviously I'm adding books as they go out (or just to add more).  The 'burning' book logs are made of items salvaged from discards.  The READstricted signs are from the American Library Association's Banned Books Week page and the Censorship Causes Blindness sign is by RandomHouse.  I made the banner and the "CAUTION: Banned & Challenged Books, Read at Your Own Risk" sign.

For the display I made an attempt to select books that might seem odd in their inclusion (such as Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle), as well as a general attempt to avoid cross-over from the local school summer reading picks.  In the case of a series, I made an effort to put out the first book when possible.  In the case where I put out several titles from the same series I used audio books.

On Display (and per usual, I'm a horrible person and this list has no consistent or logical organization):
  • Go Ask Alice / Anonymous
  • A Clockwork Orange / Anthony Burgess
  • Saga (Volume 1) / Brian Vaughan & Fiona Staple
  • The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things / Carolyn Mackler
  • It Had To Be You : The Gossip Girl Prequel (Gossip Girl) / Cecily von Ziegesar
  • Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes / Chris Crutcher
  • The Adventures of Captain Underpants : The First Epic Novel (Captain Underpants) / Dan Pilkey
  • Snow Falling on Cedars / David Guterson
  • Draw Me A Star / Eric Carle
  • To Kill a Mockingbird / Harper Lee
  • The Catcher in the Rye / J. D. Salinger
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter) / J. K. Rowling
  • The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings) / J. R. R. Tolkien
  • A Time to Kill / John Grishman
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany / John Irving
  • Fat Kid Rules the World / K. L. Going
  • Bridge to Terabithia / Katherine Paterson
  • The Kite-Runner / Khaled Hosseini
  • Slaughterhouse-Five / Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Giver / Lois Lowry
  • A Wrinkle in Time / Madeline L'Engle
  • The Handmaid's Tale / Margaret Atwood
  • Gone with the Wind / Margaret Mitchell
  • Persepolis / Marjane Satrapi
  • In the Night Kitchen / Maurice Sendak
  • The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials) / Phillip Pullman
  • The Amber Spyglass (His Dark materials) / Phillip Pullman
  • Welcome to Dead House (Goosebumps) / R. L. Stine
  • Drama / Raina Telgemeier
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian / Sherman Alexie
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower / Stephen Chbosky
  • The Things they Carried / Tim O'Brien
  • Lolita / Vladmir Nabokov
  • Twilight (Twilight Saga) / Stephanie Meyer
  • Wicked / Gregory Maguire
  • Looking for Alaska / John Green
  • The Immortal Live of Henrietta Lacks / Rebecca Skloot
  • Better Nate than Ever / Tim Federle
  • Crank / Ellen Hopkins
Additional Titles (for use when more room opens up on the display):
  • The Color Purple / Alice Walker
  • Scary Stories (series) / Alvin Schwartz
  • Junie B. Jones (series) / Barbara Park
  • You Hear Me? / Betsy Franco
  • 1984 / George Orwell
  • A Stolen Life / Jaycee Dugard
  • Catch-22 / Joseph Heller
  • Blubber / Judy Blume
  • Are You There, God?  It's Me, Margaret / Judy Blume
  • And Tango Makes Three / Justin Richardson & Peter Par
  • One flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest / Ken Kesey
  • Speak / Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Kaffir Boy / Mark Marthabane
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings / Maya Angelou
  • Roll of Thunder, Here My Cry / Mildred Taylor
  • Fahrenheit 451 / Ray Bradbury
  • Beloved / Toni Morrison
  • In Cold Blood / Truman Capote
  • Fallen Angels / Walter Dean Myers
  • Lord of the Flies / William Golding
  • Sophie's Choice / William Styron
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God / Zora Neale Hurston
  • 50 Shades of Grey / E. L. James
  • The DaVinci Code / Dan Brown
  • The Misfits / James Howe
  • The Higher Power of Lucky / Susan Patron
  • My Sister's Keeper / Jodi Picoult


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