Banned Books Blog Hop & Giveaway

Banned Books Week, this year falling September 24 – October 1, is an annual event in the USA which draws attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books.

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.

Giveaway details:

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:

http://www.banned-books.com/bblist.html

http://www.listal.com/list/banned-burned-censored

http://www.freedomtoread.ca/censorship_in_canada/challenged_books.asp

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

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74 thoughts on “Banned Books Blog Hop & Giveaway

  1. I know Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury was banned. I loved this book, I think it really hit home the threat of censorship and why we should be very grateful for our individual freedoms. The scene with the book burnings kills me. every. time. edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom Thank you for the awesome giveaway, I would buy books with this *yay*!

  2. I was definitely surprised to see the Harry Potter series was the most challenged/banned books for the past decade. I love the series for its imagination, the in-depth way JKR created the world left me amazed at her attention to details and her skill at world building.

  3. I have read the entire Harry Potter series and I will admit what got me reading it was all the controversy when my son was in kindergarten about the books and how damaging they could be. Well I am not one who will generally just go along, so I said OK I will read the book and see what all the brouhaha was about. I found the books delightful and they were totally age appropriate for the audience they were addressed to and had no problem with my son reading the series. I think the main thing I gleaned from this was not to let others tell me what is or is not appropriate, but to find out for myself. We have the freedom of choice and that should also extend to our reading material. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway opportunity.

    I am an email subscriber dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

  4. I love Huckfinn and when reading it I learned that whoever banned it, obviously never read it. It’s banned for having a bad word and being “racist”

    ummm yeah hokay! Huck was HELPING Jim escape to the FREE states! Yeah, Huck man what a racist! I mean really?! Twain was an abolitionist and the book is very anti-slavery, what is wrong with being anti-slavery?

    moiraethefates(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  5. I read the hunger games by suzanne collins. I learned that no matter how oppressed you are, you can always fight back. This book made me apprieciate our freedom.Thank you for this giveaway!
    emilymeimei204 AT yahoo DOT com

  6. Wait. Alice in Wonderland and James and the Giant Peach were banned?! That’s INSANE!! Both are BIG favorites of mine, and I can’t even imagine anything objectionable about either one D:

    So yeah, I guess those two would both be some of my favorites, though what I learned from them would really just be letting my imagination run wild in both cases 🙂

    Fahrenheit 451 remains a favorite of mine, and so ironic that it’s been banned when you consider the subject matter.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Jess
    romanceaholic at gmail dot com

  7. Count me in if this is international:
    I loved Animal Farm and what I learned from it was that people are alike all over … in the Twilight Zone sense of the phrase 🙂
    Cheers.

  8. Count me if I can use the Book Depository.
    I’ve read the entire Harry Potter series and the Vampire Academy series and from the both series I learned that life is not easy even if your a supernatural creature and no matter how bad it gets you need to suck it up and fight back!

  9. My favorites banned book(s) are definitely the Harry Potter series. I have learned so many things from them it’s hard to even decide a place to start! One thing in particular I’d like to mention though is the wonderfully written relationships. Here, you don’t have people jumping off cliffs when their boyfriend dumps them, no creepy stalking made out to be romantic (it’s not!), or the love interest being ‘absolutely gorgeous’, ‘mysteriously intriguing’, ‘dark and secretive’ or something ridiculous along those lines. Here, the people and relationships are exquisitely real.

    I think the biggest message I’ve got out of the books though are the strength people are capable of in times of war and sorrow. Also, that there are no limits to love. 🙂

    Thank you so much for this giveaway! ❤

    Karaliene24[@]gmail[.]com

  10. I think one of the most profound books I have read that is on the list was Crank by Ellen Hopkins. The story is written in verse which makes it a very interesting read. However, the story line is what captured my interest. After reading the story, I actually met Ellen and had the opportunity to listen to her talk about the life lessons she learned from going through what she did with her daughter’s drug addictions. Listening to her made the story all the more important.

    jaevenstar(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. Harry Potter, of course! There are so many good messages in these books, I don’t understand how anyone could be opposed to them. I think Hermione especially is such a great role model for young girls.

  12. Thanks for the great giveaway! I loved Fahrenheit 451 and I think it had such an amazing message about reading and government control. It’s also just so ironic that this book has been challenged and banned.

  13. I love the Hunger Games series. I was surprised that this was on the list especially considering how popular it is. So will the movies be banned too? I loved this series. It showed what the future could be. And it was incredibly moving!

    Thanks, jennifer.

  14. My favorite banned or challenged book is probably the Harry Potter series, but many others such as Go Ask Alice and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn has also had a significant impact on me as a reader.
    Donna @ The Happy Booker
    ahappybooker at gmail dot com

  15. Oh wow, ummm… my favorite banned/challenged book right now would be Harry Potter. I learned to take nothing for granted ( I was a young reader when the first came out and read them through the years). I lost along with Harry and I learned everything is precious. I can’t wait for my kids to read them and grow with Harry through the series also.

  16. I’ve read Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games…then classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm, The Lord of the Rings..

    I love these books, because I spent amazing moments with them, HP, Lotr – an escape to different world..
    Animal Farm – ‘a simple fable of great symbolic value’ (and also my first book in English – English is not my native language :))

    thnaks for the giveaway!

    zoey42.42@gmail.com

  17. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling showed me how friends and family are the most precious items you can have in your life, and you can’t replace them ever. She’s shown me how there is another world in books, in magic, and overall, life. You have to enjoy it the best you can.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE GIVEAWAY!! C:

    Email subscriber!

  18. My favorite banned book is definitely The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and to me, it means that everyone has their problems and you can’t really judge them from the outside because they may be trying to keep something huge caged inside.

  19. I love To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The writing is lyrical and simple while portraying complex and delicate themes in a sensitive light. I think everyone should read this book.

  20. One of my favorites was The Giver, and I had learned from that to resist what you feel is wrong and fight back.
    Another one was A Wrinkle in Time, and well, I read that so young that the idea of 1st, 2nd etc dimensions were a new concept, so I learnt about that! I also learned that it is important to have confidence in yourself and love yourself, and love others.
    melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

  21. I choose King Lear – it taught me the power of words and the ferocity we all hold within us.

    Howl Howl Howl Howl Oh you are Men of Stone!
    Had I your tongues and ears
    I’d use them so that Heaven’s Vault should crack!

  22. Thanks for this amazing giveaway – I would love to win! My favorite banned book is the Hunger Games because it was very thought-provoking and made me think of how similar some things were to current times and how easily we could head in the direction of the world of the story. It also inspired me to talk about it with other people and get them to read it!

    klaxon63350 (at) mypacks (dot) net

  23. THe Hunger Games and Of Mice and Men, even though Of Mice and Men was sad… I learned about foreshadowing in the book and I loved it ever since.
    denise13727(at)yahoo(dot)com

  24. I’ve read all the adult banned books. My fave: Ulysses. I learned that the traditional form and structure of the novel could be totally thrown out the window and be awesome as a result.

  25. One of my favorite challenged/banned books was THE OUTSIDERS by SE Hinton. I think it teaches to accept other no matter what their differences and that no matter what, there is good in everyone.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  26. I loved 1984 but I can’t tell you what I learned from reading it because it was so long ago. But there is no Big Brother watching us, at least not like in the book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  27. My favorite banned book is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. It gave me insight into a time, place, and culture I’d never experienced. It’s also a lovely coming of age story, and I enjoyed seeing how the main character grew up. Part of why I love reading is to experience new things.

    erinreadsblog {at} gmail {dot} com

  28. My favorite banned book is Twilight. I learned that I am an eternal optimist that believes that love can last forever 🙂

    jmesparza821(at)gmail(dot)com

  29. Most of the books on the ALA list were required reading when I was in school. And not for college either. These provocative tomes generated discussion, sparked heated debate, creative expression, mind-expansion, tolerance, and yes education. Fear and ignorance breed intolerance and prejudice. Celebrate our First Amendment right to choose what to read, and when! One of my favorite books was The Diary of Anne Frank. Hers is an important story that needs to be told and retold.

  30. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and GONE WITH THE WIND are my favorite banned books. I think everyone should read TKAM. This wonderful book has a message of accepting differences in others. What is objectionable about that?

    Thanks for the giveaway and for publicizing banned books week.

  31. Gone with the Wind would hav eto be my favorite because it was the book that got me started reading

    lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

  32. I read Speak and learned that just because you think you know someone, that doesn’t mean you do. Just because you think you know the whole story, you don’t. You never know the truth unless you actually ask questions and talk to people about situations. After reading this, I have made it a point to teach my daughter to not judge people and always get to know them before making your own decisions about them.

    jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

  33. I loved the Diary of Anne Frank. It was an important time in history, and it was sad to see people being persecuted for their beliefs.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  34. Harry Potter has taught me a lot. Being a true friend means staying with them through it all!
    nightsky1102(at)gmail(dot)com

  35. One of my favorite banned books is twilight I read alot of banned books so many good ones! I think it is wrong too banned books ! Thank you for the great giveaway!
    tishajean@ charter.net

  36. Thanks for the giveaway!

    My favorite banned book is Harry Potter, which taught me how much the human spirit can endure.

    RSS subscriber.

    captainsarahsparrow at hotmail dot com

  37. My favorite banned book is Bridge to Terabithia-I learned how important it is to encourage the use of imagination in children…I also think it’s a great read for girls, because it gives them a strong female character, even though it’s set almost 40 years ago!

    Alison
    alison.j.glass@gmail.com

  38. My fifth grade teacher read Bridge to Terabithia to us as a class, and I absolutely loved it. I had no idea it was banned–the story is so touching. It stayed with me firmly, and the movie was a fantastic retelling of it!

  39. My fave banned book is the Bible, but I love so many others. I just think it’s hilarious that the Bible is banned for “steamy sex scenes.” Sigh.

    Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

  40. Brave New World. I read this very young (maybe 10) and it sparked a love of Sci-fi. I don’t know that at that age I learned anything except how far an imagination can take you. Thanks!
    hstorm799{at}gmail{dot}com

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