Banned Book Week, September 22-28, celebrates the "freedom to read" and promotes awareness of censorship in schools and libraries. Here are 10 of the more well-known challenged books, out of the hundreds listed by the American Library Association.
What are the top reasons books are banned or challenged? Offensive language, sexual content, religious material and content deemed "inappropriate for the age group."
"The Catcher in the Rye", J.D. Salinger,
"The Catcher in the Rye," is frequently removed from classrooms and school libraries because it is “unacceptable,” “obscene,” “blasphemous,” “negative,” “foul,” “filthy,” and “undermines morality.”
"Uncle Tom's Cabin," Harriet Beecher Stowe
The historically accurate representation of the treatment of slaves in America has resulted in multiple challenges from would-be censors.
"Daddy’s Roommate," Michael Willhoite
The book, which deals with having a homosexual parent, was the second most challenged book in 1990-1999. "Heather Has Two Mommies" by Lesléa Newman, portrayed the same scenario with a lesbian couple and was also among the top ten most challenged books of the 90s.
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou's 1969 autobiography, dealing with issues like rape and racism, is among one of the most banned books in the United States.
"The Great Gatsby," F. Scott Fitzgerald
Often called the great American novel, "The Great Gatsby" is among the most challenged and banned books. Would-be censors cite "language and sexual references" in the book.
"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," Sherman Alexie.
Sherman Alexie's young adult novel has been drawing attention for depictions of sexuality, racism, violence, substance abuse and poverty.
"Fahrenheit 451," Ray Bradbury
The dystopian novel about censorship and the burning of books ironically makes the list for most challenged books in America.
Venado Middle school in Irvine, Calif. allowed only a version of the book in which all the “hells” and “damns” were blacked out. Other challengers have complained the book violated their religious beliefs.
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," Mark Twain
Twain's book remains one of the most challenged of all time, with objectors claiming the book promotes racism and contains offensive language.
"Howl and other poems," Allen Ginsberg,
Depictions of homosexuality have earned "Howl" a number of challenges.
Harry Potter (series), J.K. Rowling
Every book in the wizarding series of novels has been challenged, primarily by religious groups believing the book's magical world to be Satanic.
- Arts & Entertainment
All I want for Christmas is a new Christmas song
Despite the gigabytes of Christmas music released each year — big stars making their first charge into the yule breach this year include Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, and, alarmingly, the cast of Duck Dynasty — they are, overwhelmingly, reiterating yuletide warhorses.
‘MY PEN PAL, SANTA’
BY MELISSA STANTON
What happens when you write to Santa Claus after Christmas? In “My Pen Pal, Santa,” a little girl named Ava is about to find out.
On Christmas morning, Ava is so excited about her presents that she writes a letter to Santa to thank him (and ask why he didn’t eat her Christmas cookies!).
To her surprise, Santa replies, and a yearlong correspondence between Ava and St. Nick is born.
12-3 Good Reads
‘DEEP IN THE SAHARA’
BY KELLY CUNNANE
Kelly Cunnane, the critically acclaimed author of “For You Are a Kenyan Child,” crafts a gentle and accessible picture book with “Deep in the Sahara” that offers a glimpse into the fascinating culture of West Africa and reveals that families are much the same the world over.
Older Oklahomans invited to share poetry
The 39th Annual Oklahoma Conference on Aging is accepting entries for the 2014 Senior Poetry Contest. The contest is a popular event in conjunction with the conference, which is sponsored by DHS Aging Services.
Contestants are encouraged to submit works which reflect the conference’s theme of “Inspired Living.” Winners will be invited to read their poems and be recognized at an awards luncheon on May 20 at the Embassy Suites Norman Hotel and Conference Center.
11-28 Holiday events listing
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Edmond Sun publishes a listing of Christmas-related events as a service to the public. If you would like to have an event open to the general public listed, send the information to Mark Schlachtenhaufen at email@example.com.
ACM@UCO faculty member releases album
Clay Withrow, adjunct faculty member at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO), recently released the album “Between the Madness” as a member of the progressive metal band Vangough.
“Between the Madness” is Vangough’s third studio effort and follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Kingdom of Ruin” released in 2011. Spread across 12 songs and more than 70 minutes of content, “Between the Madness” has what Withrow describes as a strong, unified sound.
11-27 Good Reads
‘ANNE FRANK’S CHESTNUT TREE’
BY JANE KOHUTH
Jane Kohuth’s “Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree” is the perfect introduction to the inspiring and important legacy of Anne Frank.
Hidden away in their Secret Annex in Amsterdam during World War II, Anne Frank and her family could not breathe fresh air or walk under the blue sky for years.
But through an attic window Anne could see the branches of a tall chestnut tree. This small glimpse of nature gave Anne hope and courage. It inspired her writing, in turn, inspiring the whole world.
FAI kicks off holiday activities Dec. 1
Winter is a busy time of the year for the staff at the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond as they plan December’s activities including the second year for “Art for the Holidays at FAI.”
Twitter reacts to the American Music Awards
In addition to being one of the biggest events on the music industry calendar, the American Music Awards also provides plenty of fodder for instant social media commentary. Here is a sampling of reaction on Twitter to Sunday night's show.
Broadway Star Kelli O’Hara to give master class at OCU
Broadway leading lady and four-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara will give a master class at Oklahoma City University, her alma mater, from noon to 2 p.m. Monday. The class is free to the public and will be in the Petree Recital Hall of the Bass Music Center at Northwest 25th Street and Blackwelder Avenue.
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