Today marks the beginning of banned books week, and to start I am perusing the list of banned books, found here, to determine which banned book I’m going to read.
I’ve read so many of these already. It’s hard to pick one I haven’t that I know will pique my interest. Really America? As I lay dying?
In honor of this amazing month, the month that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was officially lifted, I plan to read one of the many gay books that have been removed from schools, blasted by churches and generally banned throughout the country. Here are my choices:
by Michael Willhoite
A favorite of censors, this children's book about gay parenting was the subject of a challenge in the public library. In an all-too-familiar request, a parent complained about references to homosexuality in material for children. The library board voted to uphold basic library principles by retaining the book on its appropriate shelf in the children's section.
by E. M. Forster
All three of these books, which treat homosexuality in various ways, were removed from a regional high school. The novels' purchase was financed by a grant that teacher Penny Culliton received and was approved by the school superintendent and principal. However, shortly after a local newspaper reported that Culliton was involved with a lesbian and gay support group for young people, the books were found unsuitable and were banned. Maurice and The Education of Harriet Hatfield were seized from the students while they were reading the novels in class. Personal attacks on the teacher and demands for her dismissal have been so vehement that her job is now in jeopardy.
by Judy Blume
Forever censored, this wildly popular teen novel was attacked once again for its frank treatment of adolescent sexuality and was removed from an eighth-grade optional reading list. In Rib Lake, Wisconsin, a school district principal had the book removed from the library after confiscating a copy from a student in the lunchroom, finding "graphic descriptions of sex acts."
The Last of the Wine
by Mary Renault
Fifth-century B.C. Athens is the setting of the historical novel that was challenged in a high school for references to homosexuality. Not only did the complainants and their supporters revile the book, which enlivened an honors history class, but they also attempted to humiliate the teacher by calling him a "sexual predator" and accusing him of trying to "recruit" children to homosexuality. The school board supported the teacher and the novel.
I’ll probably choose one sometime tomorrow. If you have a favorite, let me know. I’m certainly open to voting!