Technically, Banned Book Week started on September 25th. And, technically, I don’t care because the thought of books being challenged for reasons such as drugs, homosexuality and explicit language (among others), is enough to turn me into a bibliophilic Hulk and throw people out windows.
So in honor of free speech, books and all things good (just call me the Batman of Books), I‘m going to spend this week looking into some of the American Library Association’s (ALA) most challenged books from the past seven years and why it’s incredibly asinine for them to be on such a list. That is, I will if my editors let me.
Now, let’s travel back in time to 2003, when we were young and innocent. Oh, the fun we had then, am I right?
But we were all probably reading the same series at that time. That’s right. I’m talking Harry Potter. The fifth book – do I really need to name it? – Order of the Phoenix – came out in June of that year. And, you know, some of us had it read in one day. Just saying. Personally, it’s my favorite book because I detest Harry as a character and that book was just rife with reasons for me to further hate him.
And, yeah, haters gonna hate. I’m a perfect example. But I’m sure you’re starting to remember all of the “controversy” surrounding the Harry Potter books at that time. Like how they promoted witchcraft and the occult. The actual ALA listing gives Satanism as a reason for the challenges against the Harry Potter series. To crib a line from SNL – “Really?” I mean, is this how Christine O’Donnell learned her craft? She just ran around waving a stick and shouting spells in mangled Latin and preparing potions from a book that doesn’t list ingredients or instructions? Should I prepare a stake for burning now or later? Does that go against fire safety codes?
Was that sarcastic enough? It’s hard to tell when writing. Just like how it’s difficult for a work of fiction to turn boys and girls into witches and wizards.
Geez. Can you imagine what would have happened back then if it was public knowledge that (SPOILER ALERT) Dumbledore was gay?