Banned Books Week doesn’t officially end until tomorrow, but today’s the last look at the batshit crazy people that try to keep you from reading things. (Until next year!) It’s Friday, though, so I saved the best (well, the worst, really) for last!
I bring you… the “I Can’t Even” Edition!
Hop On Pop – Dr. Seuss
Man, I remember growing up when you’d see all the tough kids on the playground reading Dr. Seuss… that’s probably why in 2013, the Toronto Public Library was asked to remove Hop On Pop, with its detractors saying it “encourages children to use violence against their fathers” (!!!). Furthermore, the complainants wanted the LIBRARY to “issue an apology to fathers in the GTA and pay for damages resulting from the book”.
I… I can’t even. I am dying to know what kind of an asshat files this complaint in the first place.
Little Red Riding Hood – Charles Perrault
Little Red Riding Hood’s got more problems than the Big Bad Wolf… like uppity censors in Culver City, CA. They took issue in 1990 with the fact that LRRH was carrying wine for Grandma in her picnic basket. Not that Red was swilling it herself, or that Grandma was drunk – quite the opposite, rather:
The grandmother drank some of the wine, and . . . after a while, the grandmother felt quite strong and healthy, and began to clean up the mess that the wolf had left in the cottage.
When I have wine, I’m definitely not in the mood for cleaning. So you go, Grandma!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See – Bill Martin Jr.
This famous children’s book, published in 1967, has been named one of the Top 100 Picture Books of All Time by School Library Journal and has sold over 7 million copies in many different languages. However, that didn’t stop the Texas Board of Education from banning it in 2010 because they thought it was written by the same Bill Martin who penned Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation. (Spoiler alert: two different dudes.)
Sadly, Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation was left off of the Top 100 Picture Books of All Time list.
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
I adore this book – and I’m not alone. Since its publication in 1952, Charlotte’s Web has sold over 50 million copies and has won numerous literary honors. However, it has its detractors, such as a group of parents in Kansas that banded together in 2006 to protest the book being used in schools. Their issue? Talking animals.
The group’s argument for banning the book was that “humans are the highest level of God’s creation and are the only creatures that can communicate vocally. Showing lower life forms with human abilities is sacrilegious and disrespectful to God.”
Again, God wants you to do your homework, Troy.
The Lorax – Dr. Seuss
He’s BAAAAACK! Who knew Dr. Seuss was such a thug? The people of Laytonville, California certainly thought so… in 1989, they banned The Lorax because of his wild views on environmentalism.
Did I mention that Laytonville is a foresting town, incredibly dependent on the foresting industry and might have a teensy, tiny bit of bias on the issue?
I… I can’t even.
I could literally go on and on… but I’m saving some gems for next year. I’ve had SO much fun sharing these with you – I hope you’ve had fun reading about them!