For Banned Book Week, we’re going to do something special: instead of our usual monthly podcast episode, we’re doing a series of roundtable-style blog posts. So, each day this week we’ll post our responses to various questions related to banned books.
Today’s question is: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BANNED BOOK?
For reference, we used this list.
Dorothy: Well, I wrote a blog post about The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, so I have to say that one. Like many in my generation, I also owe a lot to Harry Potter, and I literally have a Fahrenheit 451 [link] -related tattoo. So…. my bookshelf is probably half banned or challenged books, but I’ll stop myself there and say those three (well, two and a series) are my faves.
Madeleine: It’s sort of strange for me to look at this list because it’s like looking at a compilation of books that helped to shape a lot of my life-experience in some way — even Fifty Shades which gets to sit as the poster-child novel of “books that induce vomiting” — and I think that says a lot about the kind of books that get challenged or banned throughout the US. But if I had to cherry-pick an arbitrary list of favourites from this: I think that, like a lot of people of my generation, Harry Potter is certainly on that list, but other novels like His Dark Materials, A Wrinkle in Time, Speak, Bridge to Terabithia, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and Fahrenheit 451 also had profound impacts upon me when I read them as a young/young adult reader.
Rebecca: Honestly I’ve read and loved way too many books on this list and was genuinely shocked by a whole ton of them (To Kill a Mockingbird? Really? That was required reading even in my religious schools), but I have to say my favorites are Harry Potter and His Dark Materials. Mad wrote a great post on His Dark Materials and I had my Harry Potter moment, so for more thoughts on those check out the posts! I would like to give a shout-out to The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby which I have not read but am now dying to, since the reason listed for why people want it banned is that it encourages poor spelling. Some people really kill me.
Shelly: I have to jump on the Harry Potter train (ha, see what I did there?) – but the controversy around the series isn’t something I was really aware of when the series first came out. I think it really sunk in when I read the section in Harry, A History where the author, Melissa Anelli (a fairly large figure in the HP fandom), discussed her interview with one of the leaders of the pro-banning faction. It was very strange seeing the other side of a book series I love, whether or not the concerns are legitimate, and also to realize how intensely some people opposed it. And it’s not only Harry Potter – there are so many books on the banned classics list that I read in school and learned a lot from. (Maybe The Lord of the Flies wasn’t very pleasant, but I’m still glad I read it!)
*Nota bene: All links to books available for purchase through Amazon are affiliate links, which means Backroom Whispering Productions receive a small percentage of the sales made through that link.