Spirit of freedom shines through with reading of challenged and banned books

Dennis Gosnell

Assignment Editor

Students, faculty, and staff assembled outside of the LRC Oct. 1 to participate in a banned books readout.

“Freedom to read” is the motto of Banned Books Week, a week in which individuals nationwide gather and participate in events that celebrate the First Amendment.

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Books that were read during the Readout and why they are challenged:

  • “The White Mans Bible by Ben Klassen” – “There are only 19 copies worldwide,” Brad Robison said.  Book talks about the eventual ascension of the supreme race, and the origination of the Church of Creation.
  • “A wrinkle in time” by Madeleine L’Engle- Accused of containing offensive language, and that it undermines religious beliefs and challenges individual’s idea of God.
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee– For it’s depiction of racist content, and other inappropriate imagery.
  • “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank – Contains passages that were considered “sexually offensive,” as well as for the tragic nature of the book, which some felt might be “depressing” for young readers.
  • “The Giver” by Lois Lowry – Some of the most common objections were over violent and sexual scenes, infanticide, euthanasia, and “sexual awakening.”
  • “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss – For being an allegorical political commentary. Specifically, it was banned in the Laytonville, California School District on grounds that this book “criminalizes the forestry industry.”
  • “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl – Banned for being too scary for the targeted age group, mysticism, sexual inferences, profanity, racism, references to tobacco and alcohol, and claims that it promotes disobedience, drugs, and communism.
  • “Bridge to Terabitha” by Katherine Paterson – Challenged because children build an imaginary kingdom, promotes secular humanism and New Age religion.
  • “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson – Content promotes homosexuality.
  • “A Light in the Attic” by Shel Silverstein – “How Not To Have To Dry The Dishes” encourages kids to break the dishes so that they don’t have to wash them. “Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony” was considered too morbid for children since it discusses death. And was criticized for mentioning supernatural themes, including demons, devils, and ghosts.
  • “Oh, The Places You Go” by Dr. Seuss – Inappropriate content for age group.

There will be another readout 12 p.m. Oct. 2 in front of the LRC, and it is another chance for students, faculty, and staff to participate in keeping the “Freedom to Read” alive.

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