Banned Books: Harry Potter, A Wrinkle in Time, and A People’s History of the United States

This post is part of a series for Banned Books Week 2013 and some information may be outdated. Questions? Please reach out to us online or at the Information Desk.

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Jill Cornelio, Library Assistant, Library Administration

What is your favorite Banned Book?

Definitely the Harry Potter series, but my favorite out of the seven books in the series is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Why is Banned Books Week important to you?

Banned Books Week is important to me because it’s a reminder that not only are people afraid of the unfamiliar, but they also have the power to silence the unfamiliar. However, it also reminds us that there are those who are brave enough to want to continue to entertain and educate the masses, and that there are people (like librarians) who are always fighting for our chance to learn new things and discover new worlds.

Looking over the American Library Association’s lists of banned and challenged books, which have you found to be the most surprising and why?

I remember seeing Charlotte’s Web on a list of banned and challenged books and I thought, “WHY?! Why in the world would this book be
banned or challenged?” The reason? The talking animals.

The. Talking. Animals.

((drops mic))

 

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Wesley Christian, Student Assistant, Acquisitions & Serials

What is your favorite Banned Book?

A Wrinkle in Time

Why is Banned Books Week important to you?

It promotes reading of thought provoking books. Banned books are nearly always good.

Looking over the lists of banned and challenged books, which have you found to be the most surprising and why?

The easy to read version of Romeo and Juliet was challenged for sexual content. It surprised me because there is minimal sexual content in the play and it is a classic.

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Taz Morgan, Media Archivist

What is your favorite Banned Book?

I’ve chosen A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn as my favorite censored book.

Zinn spoke at my high school the year that I was taking a U.S. history survey class. It forever changed my perception of history… not only in the U.S., but throughout the world. Zinn gives voice to the story of labor leaders, war resisters, fugitive slaves, and other figures often omitted from standard textbooks.

Detractors and censors have deemed it as ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘left-wing propaganda.’ In fact, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels wants to keep the book out of the hands of K-12 students.

Why is Banned Books Week important to you?

This is going to sound lofty, but it’s so true! Banned Books Week is important to me because free and open access to information is the basis for a free, democratic society. I believe librarians are posed to be the strongest advocates for our communities’ intellectual freedom. It’s our social responsibility to protect our freedom to read and to fight censorship.

Looking over the lists of banned and challenged books, which have you found to be the most surprising and why?

I was surprised to see A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle on ALA’s list of banned and challenged books! It’s such a classic…a beautiful and heart-warming tale that I enjoyed as a young reader. At the core, the book is about love, friendship, honor, loyalty, and family – interesting that those seemingly conventional themes are so controversial.