Banned Books: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, In the Night Kitchen, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

This post is part of a series for Banned Books Week 2013 and some information may be outdated.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.ASC_Student1

Rachel Deras, Archives & Special Collections Student Assistant

What is your favorite Banned Book?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Why is Banned Books Week important to you?

Banned Books Week is important to me because when I think of all of the books I would have missed out on reading because they have been banned or challenged at one time or another I feel a little empty. Reading about characters like Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Pecola Breedlove from The Bluest Eye and Harry Potter have all helped expand my mind and the way I look at the world.

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

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford were both surprising to me mainly because I associate them as being silly and fun and not at all scandalous.

 

Jamie

Jamie Hazlitt, Outreach Librarian

What is your favorite Banned Book?

In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak

Why is Banned Books Week important to you?

I’m privileged enough to be reliving the beloved literature of my childhood (and discovering new classics) through reading with my two young daughters. When I was a child, it never occurred to me that the ability to read whatever I wanted, including favorites like In the Night Kitchen and A Wrinkle in Time, was a privilege. How lucky I was to be able to take it for granted – how fortunate my girls are to live in a community with a robust public library system and a school that offers them the opportunity to immerse themselves into whatever stories strike their fancy.

Which Banned Books have you found to be the most surprising and why?

Honestly, nothing on the list surprises me! People are easily offended, and quick to assume that their sensibilities should be inflicted upon the rest of us. Of course there are books that I feel my children may not be ready to read just yet – that’s my decision to make as a parent. But do I have the right to march into my public library and demand that everything I deem “age-inappropriate” be taken off the shelf? Absolutely not. (And don’t even get me started on In the Night Kitchen being “pornographic.”)

 

Kathryn

Kathryn Ryan, Reference & Instruction Assistant

What is your favorite Banned Book?

It’s hard to choose because so many of my favorites are on the list (I’m such a rebel, who knew!) but I chose The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Why is Banned Books Week important to you?

Some of the books that have been banned or challenged were some of my favorite books growing up – the books had characters who seemed like real people and they made reading interesting and more alive. If Banned Books Week can draw attention to these books, and encourage someone to pick one up for the first time, that’s a victory over closed-mindedness.

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

I’m always particularly surprised by fantasy books being banned – for example, the Lord of the Rings series or A Wrinkle in Time– I had to look up why people challenge them. The worlds are so clearly not our world and not intended to be, that it seemed like they would be less susceptible to challenges.