Banned books aren’t always what you expect. While some include vulgar language, violence or extreme messages, others are far more benign. Books that have been banned in the past include*:
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, which was removed from classrooms in Stafford County, Virginia for crude language and encouraging children to disobey their parents and other adults.
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London was banned in Italy (1929), Yugoslavia (1929) for being “too wild”, and burned in Nazi bonfires (1932).
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson was banned because of “anti-religion, language, and discussion of death.”
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Banned in Ireland (1932) and removed from classroom in Montana in 1980, because it made promiscuous sex “look like fun”. (The nerve!)
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell was banned in South Africa in 1955 because of the title.
- And finally, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was banned in China in 1931 for portraying animals and humans on the same level.
I am a Reader Not a Writer and I Read Banned Books have organized and are hosting a blog hop giveaway to mark Banned Books Week. Canada doesn’t actually participate in the Week, as we have Freedom to Read Week each February, but as it is a year round and important issue, I wanted to join in anyway.
Over 250 participating blogs are offering a book related giveaway and we are all linked up together so you can easily hop from one giveaway to another. The hop runs from Saturday September 24 to Saturday October 1. The full list of participating blogs is available at I Read Banned Books.
Up for grabs is a $15 gift certificate to buy books at Chapters.ca, Amazon.ca or any other online retailer of your choice that sells books and has a way for me to send you a $15 online gift certificate. (Note: If there is a way for me to buy you a gift certificate to your local independent bookstore, I would be thrilled to do so. We’ll discuss when a winner is chosen.)
I highly encourage you to consider using the prize to purchase a book from a banned/challenged book list. If you want to argue against the banning of books, it is important to have read and know the content of the books being challenged.
There are some helpful lists at:
How to enter:
To enter giveaway please leave a comment below, indicating your favourite banned or challenged book including a description of what you learned from reading it.
Optional Extra Entry:
+1 Subscribe to the blog by email/RSS/etc.
*Reference for all above, also verified by further Google searches: http://www.listal.com/list/banned-burned-censored
I’m trying something new, and participating in the Spring Carnival Blog Hop. It’s a chance for book bloggers to help promote one anther, find new favourite blogs to follow, and reward our readers.
From Mat 1 to 8, visit the participating blogs for your chance to win great book prizes. I am giving away a $20 gift card to your choice of Chapters.ca or Amazon.com.
To enter, leave a comment below telling me what you are currently reading. I am enjoying The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood, and also still reading Moby Dick. Also, it isn’t required to enter, but please consider following me by email, RSS or on Twitter.
Good luck, and check out the other blogs participating, for great reviews and more chances to win.
Have fun hopping!
It is only fitting that I follow up my review of Jane Eyre with another longtime favourite, known to some as “Jane Eyre’s conservative Canadian cousin.”
The Nymph and the Lamp was written by Halifax writer T.H. Raddall and originally published in 1950, becoming one of Canada’s most popular novels in its day. The story begins in Halifax, but is set predominantly on Sable Island, known in the novel as Marina.
Isabel Jardine, the heroine of Raddall’s novel is an orphan, in her mid to late twenties, working as a secretary in the Marconi Depot in Halifax. She lives alone in a rundown boarding house at the end of Barrington Street. Not particularly pretty and already viewed as an old maid, Isabel has long ago stopped waiting for romance. She meets Matthew Carney, the Operator in Charge of the Marconi Station on Marina, when he makes a rare shore visit. Overcome with surprise when Carney asks her to dinner, Isabel says yes, despite not being particularly attracted to him, and his reputation as a bit of an oddball.
Through a bizarre series of events, including being accosted by a drunken neighbour, disgraced and thrown out of her boarding house, Isabel agrees to marry Carney after only three days, and travels with him to begin a new and lonely life on Marina. Enter radio operators Skane and Sergeant, and the other inhabitants of Sable Island in the 1920s: the live-saving station workers and their families. And of course, a love triangle. Two love triangles, to be precise.
Now, I have always been a sucker for historical fiction, and more particularly so when it is a local story. Behind the love story, the novel is full of interesting tidbits about the history of Sable Island, the shipwrecks, the horses, the Marconi wireless system, and Halifax during and just after World War I. There is even an excursion to the fishing outports of Newfoundland. I have read and reread this book many times, and love it more every time.
I don’t want to say much about the outcome of the story, except it does have a few remarkable similarities to the Bronte novel, despite being a very different story overall, and definitely not a feminist tale. But really, I want you to read this one for yourself. And to make that happen, I am making this post into my first giveaway on onebookperweek.ca. Leave a comment below telling me about your favourite historical fiction novel. One lucky reader will be randomly selected to win a copy of the 2006 edition of The Nymph and the Lamp, from Nimbus Publishing. Good luck.
* Contest open to readers in Canada and the USA only, and open until April 30, 2011 at 11:59:59 Atlantic Time.