Wednesday, 30 September 2015

TOP 5 BANNED BOOKS

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY IS A WEEKLY MEME CREATED BY LAINEY, AND YOU CAN FIND ALL OF THE INFORMATION IN THE GOODREADS GROUP
Happy banned books week everyone!

Well, 'happy' probably isn't the right word. Happy definitely isn't how I feel when I think about banned books...it's more like extreme frustration. I'm going to spare you the rant about why books shouldn't be banned for now (I'm going to have a full blog post/angry rant up later in the week, so watch out for that!), but it's something I'm really passionate about so I was really excited about this weeks topic.

The topic for this weeks top 5 Wednesday is TOP 5 BANNED BOOKS YOU'VE READ, but I've read lot more than five banned books so I'm just going to pick my favorites to talk about today. I found almost of my information for this post HERE, and I really recommend you check it out to find out more about what banned books week is and which books have been challenged.

Without further ado, here are five frequently banned/challenged books I love, and why you should read them no matter what anybody else says...

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - HARPER LEE
REASONS FOR BANNING: bad language, depictions of racism, discussion of rape
To kill a mockingbird has been stunning readers for over fifty years, but it wasn't until this summer that I finally decided to read it and find out what all the fuss is about. I'm so glad that I did. It is, in my opinion, one of the most moving and accessible books surrounding racism ever published, and there are so many lessons within it that I thought were really important for people to learn. Aside from that, it's beautifully written and completely charming, and I really think it's absurd that anybody would ban it just because there are a few bad words and a few topics some people don't want to think about.

HARRY POTTER SERIES - J.K ROWLING
REASONS FOR BANNING: promoting witchcraft, not suitable for children
This is probably the most ridiculous book on the list for me, simply because it's HARRY POTTER! How can you not love Harry Potter? I may have been really late on the bandwagon for this series (I only read it all the way through this summer, despite devouring the first few books when I was too young to really get any of the themes beside magic), but it's such a huge part of so many people's childhoods that it kind of horrifies me to know that some kids aren't allowed to experience this magical story. 
I really don't know what to say. Just read it. I promise you won't go to hell. 

LOOKING FOR ALASKA - JOHN GREEN
REASONS FOR BANNING: Sexual content, swearing, alcohol and drug abuse
I really could have talked about any of John Green's books for this (The fault in ours stars, for example, is also frequently banned and happens to be in my top 5 books of all time), but as Alaska is the most frequently challenged I decided to just to talk about this one. I will admit; Alaska has some more graphic content that I wouldn't want really young children, but I absolutely don't think that means it should be banned. The content people object to is far outweighed by the moving story, relatable characters, witty writing, and important messages that this book contains, and I think it's absolutely ridiculous that people should miss out on that just because of a couple of little sex scenes.


THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER - STEPHEN CHBOSKY
REASONS FOR BANNING: sexual content, swearing, alcohol and drug abuse, homosexuality (I wish I was kidding about that last one)
I'm getting progressively angrier as I write this post, so I'm sorry if I don't make sense any more. But seriously, homosexuality as a reason for banning a book? Have I traveled back in time? 
Anyway...the perks of being a wallflower is a beautiful and moving and heartbreakingly realistic portrayal of high school life, and it's a book I really think everybody should read at some point. Like all the other books on this list, I think there's so much in here that could really help people with their real lives.

OF MICE AND MEN - JOHN STEINBECK
REASONS FOR BANNING: bad language, depictions of racism, violence
I actually read this book in school as part of my English literature GCSE (which I passed! Thanks Steinbeck!), so the idea of other schools banning it is really strange to me. I feel like I'm repeating myself like crazy right now, but just like all the other books on this list I think of mice and men is beautifully written and brilliantly moving, and it deals with topics that are extremely relevant and important to discuss in today's society. It only takes an hour or so to read, but it's a story that will really stick with you (especially the ending :() and it's a classic that I think everybody should at least try to read at some point in their life.

*sighs deeply*
Well, that was infuriating (and much longer than I was planning on, sorry!). As I said earlier, I'm going to have a couple more posts about banned books up before banned books week ends on October 10th, so look out for more rants over the next few days!

Thanks so much for reading, and don't forget to tell me you thoughts in the comments!
-MIA

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