Want to reverse a book ban? Start giving away free copies of the novel at your bookstore. Earlier this week, we reported that Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man was taken out of the Randolph County, NC school curriculum. But less than week later, the ban has already been lifted due to intense community backlash and a local bookstore undermining the decision. Board member Matthew Lambeth said, “I felt like I came to a conclusion too quickly.”
Today’s banned book is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which has been banned for sexually explicit content.
Also, read our review “The Journey to Planet X: Margaret Atwood’s In Other Worlds" and her Year in Reading.
Every year, like clockwork, a few brave administrators ban a classic book in time for the opprobrium of Banned Books Week. This year, the brave administrators work in Randolph County, NC, where Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison will no longer be on the curriculum. Why? Real quote: it’s a “hard read.” (Related: Kelsey McKinney on banning The Bluest Eye.)
In honor of Banned Books Week, we’ll be looking at authors who’ve had their work challenged in the United States. Today, take a look at Robert Penn Warren’s All The King’s Men, which was challenged in Dallas, TX in 1974 for depicting a “depressing view of life” and “immoral situations.”
Eleanor & Park isn’t some dystopian fantasy about a world where teenagers swear and are cruel to each other, and some kids have terrible parents. Teenagers swear and are cruel to each other. Some kids have terrible parents. Some girls have terrible stepdads who shout profanity at them and call them sluts – and some of those girls still manage to rise above it. When these people call Eleanor & Park an obscene story, I feel like they’re saying that rising above your situation isn’t possible. That if you grow up in an ugly situation, your story isn’t even fit for good people’s ears. That ugly things cancel out everything beautiful.
Commonly Banned: Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson.
Ban Instead: Rope swings over rain-swollen creeks; heartbreak.
Commonly Banned: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling.
Ban Instead: Dementors and everything that is not this gif.