Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Banned Books Week

I was having a rough day the other day, and I knew only one person could cheer me up. And that person was Holden Caulfield. I used to spend time with him once a year but I honestly can't remember the last time we'd hung was long overdue. Then I found out it's "Banned Books Week" so it's even more appropriate. I never understood why it was a banned book so I googled it and apparently it has been challenged for "it's use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and teenage angst. It also deals with complex issues of identity, belonging, connection, and alienation." If that's the case then teenagers should be banned from their own lives I guess. Anyway there's not much point to this post except to say I thought it was a neat coincidence that I was reading a "banned book" during the official celebratory week of them.

True Story: on the written portion of the SAT or ACT or LMNOP or some important test I took in high school we had to write a brief essay on the protagonist of one of the famous books listed. I was so excited that Catcher in the Rye was on the list because it was my favorite book even though I'd never been required to read it in any class. So I picked it. Then I had the biggest brain fart of my life. I could NOT remember the protagonist's name! But I was definitely going to write about it so I called Holden the boy, the character, the protagonist, the male, the teenager, etc and still somehow managed to do well on my scoring. And that was the last time I ever forgot his name.

If you'd like to celebrate the freedom of reading by reading a banned book, check out the list of the top classics that have been challenged at one point. I bet you've read at least one on there! I think I've read 15 of them and probably half were in high school.


Anonymous said...

I've read Catcher In The Rye and I've seen the movie Sophies Choice. Can't say I'm a fan of either one. But then we know what a prude I am. I guess I should at least give some of the other banned books a try. Rebel that I am. Mom

Anonymous said...

the color purple is definitely my favorite banned book. i try to read it every year. surprisingly, one of Calvin's favorite books has been banned: Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? The author has the same name as a Marxist theorist, except it wasn't really him. Just had the same name. so dumb.

devon lorraine ... said...

when i was in high school i liked that book so much i memorized the entire first PAGE verbatim.

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like..."

but i can't get much farther than that anymore.

tricia said...

most of the books in my top 10 are on that list!

Leslie said...

I'm also at 15.

Devon's memorization of page one was up there on my list of "favorite party tricks I like making Devon do". Also on that list? Singing the alphabet backwards and sneezing on command. It was like owning a monkey.

Wait a second....did you also manage to distract our english teacher enough to stall taking an exam with the recitation of CintheRye? I feel like that happened.

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