Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Huck Finn - Banned and challenged!

The American Library Association has been celebrating Banned Book Week the last week in September since 1982. And Huck Finn has held a prominent place on the list for the entire time.

Huck was "banned" as early as 1885 (remember, Huck was originally published in 1884!) because the vernacular (slang) Twain used was offensive. At that time, the "N" word didn't create any controversy, but Huck's behavior (he openly scratched, sweat and itched), was just unseemly

Over the years, people have objected to Huck, often in court, for one reason or another. In 1998, parents in Tempe Arizona went to court to prevent Huck's inclusion on the high school required reading list. The parents finally lost in Federal Appeals Court.

Last year, Time Magazine published a wonderful series of short explanations for the challenges to the most banned books. The titles they spotlighted were:

Article on Candide
Article on Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Article on Brave New World
Article on Nineteen Eighty-Four
Article on The Catcher in the Rye
Article on Lolita
Article on I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Article on The Anarchist Cookbook
Article on The Satanic Verses
Article on Harry Potter Series

How many of these have you read? Do you agree with the reasons they were banned or challenged? How about Huck? Ban him? Or not?

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