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What I Read in the Waiting Room of Hell

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September 28, 2005

Comments

DuWayne Brayton

It is remarkable how many books on that list were required reading for this class or that in my middle school into high school. I first read "Brave new World" when I was 12 - it literaly altered the way I thought about the world - obviously it is dangerous, it taught me about the dangers of letting others think for me. Judy Blume is also an obvious danger, she taught me a little of how girls think - in fact the major reason I never thought girls were "yucky" was because of dear Ramona. And my gods how could we alow our children to read "The Outsiders" we can't possibley have them thinking that gangs are not the best way to go in life.

And lets just damn them, damn Mr. Vonnegut, damn D'Engle, Damn Golding, damn Roald Dahl, damn Margeret Attwood and damn anyone who has the audacity to write books that might aid parents in teaching their children about their bodies. Can we just heap the books into a pile and burn the authors at the stake?

catherine

WTF! Where's Waldo? Are you kidding me? Whoa, people are reallu out there. I can see why some of these people would obejct to others -- not that I agree -- but come on!

Red State Blues

I am proud to say that three of the books in the top 20 are (or were) on my kids' reading lists in 5th grade. Gosh, I loved that public school. The reasons some of the others have been challenged might surprise you. The Maurice Sendak book (he of "Where the Wild Things Are") coming in at No. 25 has been challenged because it contains a cartoon picture a small child, and glory be, he's buck naked. I kid you not. Now I understand that "Captain Underpants" is being challenged because it mentions things like, the horror of it all, toilets and farting. Judy Blume must be proud she made the list so many times. I know I would be.

Elayne Riggs

Which books exactly have been banned in this country in the last, oh, 25 years or so? Restrictions, challenges and other attempts at censorship are indeed heinous but they're NOT bans.

The Heretik

Elayne, I will leave it to lawyers to hash out the legalities of censorship. All these "restrictions" amount to an effective "ban" in spirit. When your daughter comes home with a permissiion slip so she can read Huck Finn, a parent knows something has changed in this country. When we use broad strokes to prevent teachers from offering nuanced discussion in this country, then the closed minds have won a skirmish. By many small skirmishes a war is won. And because each nick is so small, few notice that the free society of the body politic slowly bleeds out.

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