Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jump on the Banned Wagon

Celebrate Banned Books
September 30th - October 6th, 2012
Welcome to the Brunette Librarian, 
my little corner of the blogosphere!

I am a librarian and take the banning of books pretty dang seriously. Beyond someone thinking they have a right to tell you what to read or forbid it, it is a direct violation of our rights. 

I was asked to participate in the "Banned Wagon" week and am loving it! I love the sharing of banned books and getting that information out there.

Earlier this week I shared some displays I created, so if you have a minute, be sure to stop over and check out how we are celebrating at my little library in Missouri.

My favorite banned book is The Glass Castle. If you haven't ever read this book, oh my goodness. I have included my review below...

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the tradition of Mary Karr's "The Liars' Club" and Rick Bragg's "All Over But the Shouting," Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric, and severely misguided family.
My Thoughts:
    My book group picked up “The Glass Castle” this past month simply because of word of mouth. Everyone had heard about it (except me!) so we decided we better see what all the fuss was about. Definitely one that makes you think, without a doubt the author, Jeannette Walls has had a pretty extraordinary life. We actually started our book group with this question and I believe it really sums up a lot about this book, “If you saw your mother going through a dumpster in raggedy clothes while you were with you friends, would you stop to introduce them?”
     “The Glass Castle” is really broken into two sections - one part when Jeannette is a child and they live in the desert, while the second half has the family growing older, making future decisions, and basically living very different lives. Jeannette’s parents believed in a very basic life. They were absolutely fine with not having electricity or water, they ate what they had, and rarely thought about the future. They home schooled their children and moved dozens of times during their childhoods. As Jeannette grew older, she realized normal families didn’t live this way - they actually have food in their refrigerators and don’t have to eat just margarine.      Perhaps the most interesting point in this book, or perhaps what surprised me the most, was that the children knew the way they were living was terrible and none of them replicated the living conditions in adulthood. Their parents may be fine with not working, going to food shelters for every meal and living on the streets, but their children are most assuredly not.
     An interesting look at life that is utterly foreign to me, “The Glass Castle” is one of those books you share with your friends. Interesting and intriguing, I would definitely recommend this to those who like intense nonfiction reads. Our book club read it and boy, did we have an intense discussion!

So why was this BANNED?

two separate but documented cases have occurred these past few years.

2012 - - Challenged, but retained as part of the tenth-grade English curriculum in the Sade-Central City High School classrooms in Cairnbrook (PA). The 2005 best-selling memoir in which Walls describes her hardscrabble upbringing includes sexual assault, casual profanity, drunkenness, seeing the family cat pitched from a moving car, and having to drink ditch water. Even critics of the graphic book praise its theme - overcoming adversity.
2010 - -Challenged at the William S. Hart Union High School District in Saugus (CA) as required summer reading for the honors English program. The 2005 memoir chronicles the author's harsh childhood and family life and includes profanity, criticisms of Christianity, and accounts of sexual abuse and prostitution. Students have the option of alternative assignments that still meet objectives and teaching goals.
Other articles about the banning of The Glass Castle
In honor of Banned Books, I am going to be giving a $10 gift card to either Amazon or B&N - your choice. That way you can choose YOUR favorite banned book! I'd love it if you'd follow me, leave a comment with your email and boom... you're entered!

Please check out the other blogs 
and their favorite Banned Books at Book Journey!


  1. I follow already :)

    I made a post in honor of Banned Book Week too.

    I had always thought "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin was banned, but upon more research I learned that it's debatable? I'm sure it was challenged in the very least.

    Anyway, that's my favorite {possibly} banned book. In close second is "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston.

    Happy reading!


  2. My favourite and most memorable was Lady Chatterley's Lover. Probably because I was 13 years old at the time and reading it secretly!!!!


  3. Hi i have not read this book before but it does sound interesting. I have seen worse on some Tv comericals than what is in some of these banned books. Its amazings what Books they have on the Banned List. Come on Judy Blume Books How sad is that. I am a follower already Gfc as jscddmj and email follower as jscddmj [at] aol [dot] com Thanks for the giveawy Joannie sparks

  4. I love that you did a display at your library! I did too! That is so fun. My book club read this one tears ago and it made for a great discussion.

    journey throughbooks@gmail.com

  5. I LOVE the Glass Castle--great pick! Thanks for the giveaway, I'm a new follower. :)
    thewellreadredhead at gmail dot com

  6. great giveaway. Of Mice and Men is one that I have read and would read again. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. I follow via Linky, GFC and FB. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!


  8. Great post! I'm also posting for Banned Book Week.I haven't read Glass Castle but it's a very popular book at the library I work. It sounds like a good one that I need to add to my must read list.

  9. I've read so many banned books, and still to this day can't understand why many of them are. Especially so many of the classics. They're literary masterpieces!

    But anyway... :) I love the Glass Castle, among so many others, and love that you chose to feature it here :)

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :)
    songbird1613 at yahoo dot com

    I follow your blog via e-mail :)

  10. Another book that I loved and had no idea was challenged or banned! Good grief right? Stop banning books people! Argh.

    Old reader, new follower :)

  11. I loved this book and it is such a shame that it has been challenged! Why anyone would challenge a book and stick there head in the sand when it comes to touchy subjects is beyond me.

    Thanks for the giveaway, I am a GFC follower and Facebook follower!

  12. I loved that book. My friends and I read for our book club. I can't believe it is on the banned book list! I really don't get how some people seem to think that they can determine what we can and cannot read.

    Kinx's Book Nook
    New Follower.

  13. Great post, not an author or book I've heard of - I'm hoping our library will have a copy of this.

  14. The Glass Castle is a great book!
    Also, awesome giveaway!

  15. Great book to feature. I always recommend this to my "Child Called It" fans...of which I have MANY. Happy Reading everyone. We are lucky to have the freedom. Don't forget that!

  16. I'm following you on GFC, jenn1019. I also jumped on the Banned Wagon and had a post and giveaway earlier this week for Speak. I did not realize that Glass Castle had been challenged. This one has been on my TBR list for a while.

  17. It is wonder why people think that they can decide what another reads in today's world. So many adventures will never be taken. It is sad.

    My favorite banned book is "To Kill a Mockingbird"

  18. Heaven forbid our children be exposed to the harsh reality that so many have to live through! Books like this one are a wonderful way to build compassion and empathy, something we could all use a little more of.

  19. I've never heard of this book! My reading list is growing... Following on GFC.

  20. That's interesting. I had no idea this book is banned.

  21. I hear banned book & it arouses my curiosity. Kind of the opposite of what 'they' want.

    Email Subscriber


  22. I have not read this book but it sounds very interesting.
    gfc mamabunny13
    fb-mamabunny shelor

    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  23. I'm a new FB follower :)
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  24. I read this several years ago and I thought it was an amazing story. It's sad that it would be censored simply because her story goes to some dark places. I wouldn't mind for my children to read it. I think it's important to get glimpses of other peoples lives, as sad as they may be.

    klmickelsen at gmail dot com

  25. Already a gfc stalker. ;0) Martian girl.

    My fav banned book is The Awakening.

    Thanks for the chance!

  26. I don't know if it's necessarily my favorite (though certainly one of them), but The Golden Compass comes to mind.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    GFC Kayla Beck
    pherlaithiel (at) gmail (dot) com

  27. The Glass Castle sounds like amazing read, I'll definitely get this book in the future. My favourite is The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

    Thank you for the giveaway. I'm following via GFC.

  28. I've heard of this book, started reading it, but didn't finish. Maybe I wasn't in the right mode for a book like this. I'd be willing to give it another shot.

    I can imagine the book would start up some lively discussions. Children think that their family's lifestyle is the norm until they are exposed to alternate lifestyles. I know, from experience, this is the case with my daughter(7). We are somewhat unconventional in our lifestyle, not quite as extreme as Glass' family.

  29. Oh, thanks so much for the giveaway :)
    Already an email subscriber


  30. I loved The Glass Castle. It was what I gave away on World Book Night :)

  31. Thanks for this great post - I had never heard of this book. I love banned book week because I learn about so many great books. I always like to see what's on the list and read them for myself to see what I think! Thanks for this great giveaway! I follow on GFC as Suz and would love to win! Starbucks goes great with banned books :)