Instant Message: Banned books

Compiled by Rod Spaw
March 1, 2012

Today’s question: Ivy Tech is celebrating Read Across America Day by reading selections from banned books. What is your favorite banned book and why?

“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut is brilliant, funny, shocking, disturbing…it is an education unto itself into human nature, war, peace, and memory. No wonder it’s routinely banned.

Michael Wilkerson
Washington, D.C.

“Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. A quintessential ending to an exceptional story.

Ken Dunn

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain is my favorite banned book. Clemens can turn a phrase… oh, my.

D.L. Wilcox

The Bible, because it is the only book that is the eternally true word of God. It is all perfect, but I am drawn to Ephesians 1:3-5 2 and Thessalonians 2:13 as I write this.

Scott Tibbs

All of them!! Because no one should be prevented from reading any written word whether from curiosity, pursuit of knowledge or dispute of ignorance.

Helen Harrell

“Green Eggs & Ham” because it’s a fun book to read to kids. (In 1965, the children’s novel was temporarily banned in the People’s Republic of China for its portrayal of early Marxism. The ban was lifted in 1991, following Seuss’ death)

Michael A. Davis

The “Grapes of Wrath” was banned for alleged unfavorable portrayal of California area residents. It is a gripping and poignant novel of hard scrabble dust bowl days during the depression and received a Pulitzer Prize in 1940.

Clark Brittain

“Pudd’nhead Wilson,” by Mark Twain. Twain directly addresses race and slavery, in as funny a way as such a terrible institution can be analyzed. But the “N word” is on virtually every page, so it is difficult to read, and is often suppressed.

Guy Loftman

My favorite book is not banned yet, but if we aren’t very careful it will be before long. The Bible.

Bob Pate

I’ve read dozens of books that have been banned, and I cannot recall any I didn’t enjoy. My favorite is the Bible. I have also really enjoyed writings by Mark Twain, Jack London, and Aristophanes.

Marvant Duhon

The Grapes of Wrath, by Steinbeck. I admire Tom Joad and his struggle during the Great Depression. “[W]herever there’s a fight, so people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ a guy, I’ll be there. . . . and when people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build — I’ll be there, too.”

Ken Dau-Schmidt

I really hate it that all those darn peaceniks keep trying to ban the Bible, man! Jesus told us to judge our neighbors; why can’t they just accept that?

Greg Alexander

My favorite banned book is “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl”, but given that I live 10 miles from Buda, Texas, where “What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Boys” was banned, we’re collecting money to buy copies of that book where we will distribute it, free of charge, in Buda.

Mark Carpenter
Austin, Texas

“Fahrenheit 451” because I love books and reading. Living in a society without them is a very frightening thought.

Linda Harl

Copyright: 2012

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Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.