Given that science fiction and fantasy books exist to challenge our preconceived notions of reality, it’s no wonder that they are frequently the targets of book-banning efforts. Many books in these genres revolve around different views of politics, religion, sex, or sexuality (or all of the above!). While fans of science fiction and fantasy are often attracted by the mind-bending and challenging nature of books within this genre, others find them disturbing and controversial. If you are in the mood to celebrate Banned Books Week by disturbing your mind a little, check out this list of Banned Science Fiction & Fantasy Books from Worlds Without End.
– Lorena N.
This year the week of Sept. 30 through Oct. 6 marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week which celebrates the freedom to read. In a truly ironic twist, James Klise, young person’s author and school librarian, writes in this Chicago Tribune commentary from today’s paper that he was invited to speak to 8th graders at a Banned Books program in Kansas and then dis-invited. It seems that the teacher who invited him consulted with her principal and they decided that his award-winning book Love Drugged about a closeted gay teen was simply too edgy for the school’s conservative community. It’s a gentle book, says the author, there’s no sex in it. It was the topic that got him banned, he was told. The teacher told him that despite the dis-invitation, the school library will still carry copies of his books.
Read about the “underground” libraries developing in Houston, San Antonio, Albuquerque and Tucson,
In response to the alleged banning of books from Mexican-American Studies programs by the Tucson Unified School District, “underground” libraries are developing in Houston, San Antonio, Albuquerque, and Tucson. “Read-easies” will be organized with donations from various authors whose books have been banned. Go here to learn more.
It appears that Mark Twain needs to be cleaned up. Enough schools have banned the classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from their reading lists that two scholars are collaborating on an edited version that eliminates racial slurs, replacing them with less offensive terms. Listen to the story from Wednesday’s edition of NPR’s All Things Considered. Read the NPR News Blog and yesterday’s Chicago Trib article, and join the discussion.