‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

Banned Book Week

with one comment


Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW’s 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).

BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.


All this week I’ll be randomly selecting books that have been “challenged” or “banned” and then sharing some of my own experiences with various “banned” reads. Check out this list of the most frequently “banned” books.

For a list of specific Canadian Books/Magazines that have been “challenged” or “banned”, check out this link.(PDF)

— Here is an article selected from the PDF link above. —

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of
Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

2000—The Durham (ON) Board of Education received numerous complaints about the
immensely popular Harry Potter books being read in classrooms throughout the board’s
schools. A school board official said that the complaints came from fundamentalist
Christian parents.
Cause of objection—As is the case in at least 19 states of the U.S. and other parts of
Canada, parents were concerned that Harry Potter is engaged in wizardry, witchcraft, and
magic-making, and that these activities are inappropriate for young readers.
Update—After listening to the complaints, the administration decided to withdraw the
books from classroom use but left them in school libraries where they would be available
for book reports. One board member said she had wanted the books to be withdrawn
completely from the schools; another member said the board had never been asked to
decide the issue, so the books’ withdrawal amounted to censorship. Several months later,
after a raucous public meeting, the board rescinded its decision to remove the books.
However, in other jurisdictions teachers have been asked not to use the books in the
classroom. This is said to have occurred in a school in Corner Brook (NF) and in
Rockwood Public School in Pembroke (ON). In 2002, the Niagara (ON) District School
Board turned down a parent’s request for the removal of the books from area schools.
The parent said the books contained violence and promoted a religion (Wicca) which is
against the law in Ontario schools. She said that she had not read the books.

Huzzah for books!

Written by thebeliever07

September 27, 2008 at 12:05 pm

One Response

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  1. While I was TAing the Children’s Lit courses, we were told that another reason the HP books have been challenged / banned is that they encourage disobedience.


    September 27, 2008 at 1:06 pm

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