Banned Books Week: Favourites

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.


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.

ShellyI 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.


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