Tag: Banned Books

Turkey Says Inspiring Kids’ Book Should Be Treated like Porn

The Turkish government recently ruled that Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls should be treated like pornography because of its “detrimental influence” on young people.



Published in 2016, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls offers 100 tales of extraordinary women meant to inspire young children. Each story, written by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo in the style of a fairy tale, is accompanied by illustrations from over 60 female artists. The Guardian described it as an “empowering, resolutely ‘anti-princess’ storybook.” It’s been an incredibly popular best-seller and has been published in 47 languages around the world.


Favilli and Cavallo, image via Penguin Books


But in a decision published at the end of September, the Turkish government’s board for the protection of minors from obscene publications said:

Some of the writings in the book will have a detrimental influence on the minds of those under the age of 18.

This means Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls can be sold only to adults and must be kept out of view in bookshops. Essentially, it has to be treated like pornography.


Image Via Amazon


Cavallo responded to the decision, saying:

Girls deserve to grow up surrounded by more female role models. They deserve to grow up thinking that they can be anything they want. When a government is scared by a children’s book promoting equality, that means that promoting these messages through children’s literature can have and is having an impact, and it makes me even more motivated to keep fighting every day.

The Turkish publishers’ association released another statement last week, arguing the government’s decision threatens the principles of a democratic society. And Turkish publisher of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls said it was waiting for the decision to be officially communicated to it before commenting.



Featured Image Via The Guardian

PEN America Calls Out Prisons For Large Scale Book Bans

Banned Books Week shines a light on literature’s most challenged titles, but also on the institutions that carry out these bans. It’s not surprising to hear about the types of books that get banned, but you might be surprised to see who bans books the most.


PEN America, a nonprofit organization that advocates for freedom of speech and the celebration of literature, published a paper detailing the extensive bans that state and federal prisons have imposed on various books.


Image Via Wikipedia


Depending on the state, some books have been banned for very surprising reasons:


  • Prisons in both Ohio and Tennessee have banned various biology books, with some reasons being the inclusion of “nudity”.
  • A Colorado prison prevented a prisoner from receiving President Barack Obama’s memoirs on the grounds that the books were “potentially detrimental to national security”.
  • A New York prison banned a book on maps of the Moon because they could “present risks of escape”


On a federal level, thousands of other books have been banned as well, including works from well-known authors like George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Alice Walker, Joyce Carol Oates, and several more.



The paper calls on US Congress to intervene in hopes to give those behind bars the chance to further their education.


The result is a book-banning system that fails incarcerated people, and fails to live up to our democratic and constitutional ideals. As both a practical and a moral matter, it is time to re-evaluate the state of the right to read within American prisons.


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Image via ThoughtCo


Are you shocked to see so many books being banned in prisons?



Featured Image Via The Daily Beast


Celebrate Banned Books Week With These Controversial Reads

This week is Banned Books Week, where we shine a light on the books that have been restricted for various reasons based on addressing certain issues, mature content, or perceived mocking of certain beliefs. To celebrate: here is a list of some of the most challenged books currently out there:



1. The Hate U Give


Image Via Amazon


Angie Thomas’ novel about a black teen who witnesses the shooting of her childhood friend at the hands of a police officer has been banned in several schools. Critics accuse the book of being “anti-cop” due to its themes as well as criticize the profanity used by certain characters.



2. 13 Reasons Why


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The novel that inspired the controversial Netflix series, about a teenage girl’s suicide and the cassette tapes explaining why, has sparked debates on whether or not it addresses mental illness properly or not. Suicide prevention groups in particular, have frequently criticized the book, with some accusing the book of glorifying suicide.



3. Drama


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A graphic novel about a tween working at her middle school’s drama club production crew, this children’s book has been challenged for its portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters.



4. Captain Underpants


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It might be hard to believe that a book series as silly as this one would be considered too controversial for some, but Dave Pickley’s popular children’s series has been criticized for “encouraging disruptive behavior”. Also, the final book in the series was criticized for featuring a same-sex couple.



5. To Kill A Mockingbird


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An American classic, Harper Lee’s seminal work has been challenged for its graphic violence, discussions about race, and frequent profanity.



6. The Kite Runner


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A critically-acclaimed novel turned into both a movie and a play, Khaled Hosseini’s work about two boys growing up in Afghanistan has been criticized for its portrayal of the Taliban, as well as all the graphic violence that happened during the rise of the Taliban regime.



7. The Harry Potter Series


Image Via Barnes & Noble


Frequently challenged, banned, and burned, J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world has been accused of promoting witchcraft by several religious groups. The most recent complaint has been that the novels feature “real” spells that can actually be cast.


You can read about more banned books here.




Featured Image Via PBS

Catholic High School Bans Harry Potter Claiming It Corrupts

Many Harry Potter fans would love to cast real-life versions of the spells we all know and love, but a catholic school in Tennessee fears that the spells might be real and doesn’t want any part of J.K Rowling’s Wizarding World.



Nashville’s St. Edwards School has banned the popular children’s series from its libraries at the request of its pastor, Rev. Dan Rehill. The reason being that Rehill believes that the spells and curses within the story are real and pose a threat to children worldwide:


These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.

-Reverend Dan Rehill to CBS


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Image via Geek


Rehill made the decision after receiving an inquiry from a parent regarding the series and consulting with several exorcists who recommended banning the series.


This isn’t the first time that the Harry Potter series has been banned for religious reasons and it won’t be the last. Evangelicals have accused the series of promoting satanism and witchcraft for years and its one of the most challenged book series of the 21st century according to the American Library Association.


Image Via The Telegraph


What are your thoughts on this decision?



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LGBTQ Books Are Being Censored and Authors Are Fighting Back

According to Entertainment Weekly Middle Schools across the country are resisting teaching LGBTQ material in the classroom. One incident occurred with an author called Jen-Petro Roy, who had booked a trip to Texas in order to talk with students about her book, P.S. I Miss You.


P.S. I Miss You

Image Via Goodreads


The novel follows an eleven year old girl who begins questioning her faith and sexuality, discovering she may not be straight and what that means for her identity. But, out of the blue, the school cancelled the scheduled visit.

According to Roy, the school had decided that by featuring her work, they’d be promoting an LGBT ‘agenda’ and she didn’t end up going to Texas after all. This is only the latest in a long string of controversies in children’s literature. Despite children’s books pushing forward with progressive attitudes, many LGBTQ voices are being silenced.


Image via Entertainment Weekly

Authors all over the country have noted they are suffering from being banned from even discuss LGBTQ material and many feel like they’re being gaslit. Schools often give excuses for teachers writing this material to not appear, making excuses that include scheduling conflicts or students study time. She describes this practice as ‘soft censorship’ and notes its really quite troubling, essentially enacting a ban on what literature young people are exposed to. She discovered parents had become upset at her for featuring pride flags on social media and they complained to the school, which likely helped make the decision.



Image Via Amazon


The author further noted that bans might get more attention for the schools, making it extra motivation to allow them to get media attention they wouldn’t otherwise receive. Anonymous employees for schools revealed they had pulled books they did not ‘line up’ with school values, with nearly one third being tossed out or banned. For example: Renegades was banned because the main character has two dads.

The authors noted that kids are suffering the most for this and that this banning of content will ultimately hurt kids in the future. What do you think of these schools and their policies? Tell us in the comments.




Featured Image Via Barnes And Noble