It’s Time To Read A Banned Book!

It’s Time To Read A Banned Book!

banned-books-week

There’s something you don’t know about me: I love to read banned books.  You know, those books that you were sure if you mother caught you reading them, you would be punished for the rest of your life?   Once, while sitting in the hallways of my ultra-liberal-but-still parochial-private school (Quaker), I was busted by my English teacher for reading “Emerald Ecstasy,” a fantastic, uber-romantic and sexy “pirate” book. Rather than being upset that I was reading such smut, she simply stated that she was really disappointed that I was “consuming such poorly written prose.”  Like I said, I went to a private school.

Ok, “Emerald Ecstasy” probably would be listed as “banned” for its sexual content if it was a good book, which it is not.  So I doubt that the American Library Association (ALA) would include it in its annual celebration of the freedom to read.  This week,  all over the country, libraries and bookstores are highlighting censorship by displaying books that are challenged and/or banned, and hosting events about the issue.  It’s hard to believe that over 11,300 books have been challenged in libraries and schools since 1982, when the annual celebration began.

In honor of this week and, in my opinion, the inherent right to read whatever one wants to without being censored, here’s just a short list of my favorite titles, their authors and the reasons that they were banned:

  • Bridge to Terribitha, Katherine Peterson

Reasons: Offensive language, use of the word “Lord.”

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

  • Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group–An AMAZING book for teens to read!

  • The Giver, by Lois Lowry

Reasons: Lewd, twisted, sexually explicit, suicide, euthanasia

  • The Witches, by Roald Dahl

Reasons: Witchcraft

  • To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Reasons: Now here’s a new oneUse of the word “nigger,” offensive to African Americans, profanity, adult themes

  • Looking for Alaska, by John Green.

Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

  • Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park

Reasons: Grammer!

  • The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling

Reasons: Witchcraft, Magic

  • The Outsiders, by SE Hinton

Reasons: Violence, language (and simply one of the best books ever written)

After reading the list of titles and the reasons that specific books have been banned, I was left with the same question posed by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America:

Which kills more children: the book or the gun?

Which kills more children: the book or the gun?

Bottom line: Get reading folks!  We have a lot of books to read this week.  In honor of Banned Books Week, Lulu and I are reading “The Giver.”  I’m excited to introduce her to one of my favorite novels from pre-adolescence.

Want more information on banned books and what you can do to prevent books from being banned in your community?  Check out the following sites: 

fREADom

The Pussy (Cat) Diary: Getting My Revenge

The Pussy (Cat) Diary: Getting My Revenge

As dictated by Sabine (the cat) and transcribed by Renee (the Mom) & Lulu (the kid) 

A Day in the Life Of Sabine

A cat’s life is never easy. Cats are really smart but physically,  the domestic breed is  pretty small.  Thus, some humans immediately label me as having “a complex.”  I dont’ know what it is and I don’t want to know.    I’m almost 20 years old.  That’s like 100 in human years.  It’s no wonder that I need therapy!  Check the most recent page from my diary:

Day #998

  • 6:55 a.m.: I am now awake and ready to eat!  But my keeper is not out of bed and waiting to feed me!  I need to remedy this and start to sing as loudly and as off tune as possible. (Little do they know that I have pooped at the bottom of the landing of the stairs!  “What your step!  Oops….that’s a rotten way to start your day!”  HeHeHe!)
  • 7:00 a.m.  Did I mention watch your step? Got her! Ha!
  • 7:02 a.m.: Oh! That smell! That horrible, fishy smell fills the air as she opens a small metal disc. My stomach churns.  If it wasn’t for my arthritic hips, I would jump on my keeper with my claws and show her who’s really boss!  Darn hips!
    • The Beast is stupid too: it dives into its by-product dish of food and devours it.  
    • After it’s finished, the Beast burps in my direction, regurgitates some of its food and then eats it again.  Primitive Creature!
  • 7:05 a.m. In retaliation, I throw up all of my food just to get back at my keeper.  That disgusting beast eats it too!   
  • 8:00 a.m.: The Keeper has put a leather rope around the Beast’s throat and taken it outside for what I assume is a chance to escape from this prison.  Strangely, it comes back and seems happier than ever. It must be the pills she puts in its food every morning.
  • 8:15 a.m.: The Keeper is going out.  She grabs a snack for the Beast and lures it downstairs using this sweet sing-songy voice saying “Come on sweet baby” repeatedly.  It climbs into its iron prison the humans refer to as “a crate.”  Stupid Beast!
  • 9:00 a.m.:  I venture downstairs to make sure the Beast isn’t dead.  I know that I would get blamed somehow if the dog “kicks it.”  It’s still alive.  It looks at me with pathetic, sad eyes as if asking me to let it out of “the crate.”  As if!
  • 9:02 a.m.: I decide to torment the Beast: my daily pleasure.  I slowly stroll back and forth in front of the cage. I like to comment about the joy of having the house to myself and how sad it is that the Beast has to spend the day in a small cage while I can wander freely through the entire house   YAWN…Every few minutes the Beast lunges at me.  But I just sit in front of the cage and smile.  I could unlock the cage, you know.  But why bother?  I love to see the Beast grovel and cry. It is just so pathetic. To mark my spot, I cough up a hairball.
  • 3:00 p.m.: I am awoken from a sound sleep by the echoes of shoes running through the house.  The small person must be home and I need to hide lest she see me and decide that she wants to pick me up. There aren’t a lot of places in this giant box so I choose directly under the dining table–less chance of the child reaching in and catching me.
  • 5:00 p.m.: It’s dinner time.  I have to endure another dose of this gruel!  In protest, I use the  litter box first in hopes of making the first level of the house smell as bad as it can.  What do I care?  I can’t smell a thing!
  • 5:15 p.m.:  I spot the small person and run.  Sadly, due to my age and arthritis, I am unable to outrun its chubby legs.  It grabs me by the tail and I scream in indignation and some pain.  I hear the Keeper tell the little person that “the cat’s tail is not for pulling.”  I hiss at the creature and remind myself that I will get even later tonight after “Mom” is sleeping.  I will sneak into the small person’s bed tonight and sit on its face. Nothing like a little cat hair in your mouth to make you choke!
  • 7:00 p.m.: It’s last call for the Beast. I sit by the door waiting for it to open so I can rush out.  I know that I have to be swift if I am going to escape.  Usually they notice me and kick me away from the door.  But not tonight! The “Keeper” opens the door and I slip out.  I am FREE! I run like my life depends on it and  hide under the porch so no one will be able to find me.
  • 8:00 p.m.: Where the hell are they?  The humans strolled around the yard for almost 3 minutes with their big lights looking for me and then gave up. Now their inside the house probably talking about me in past tense terms.    I am hungry and have no idea how to find my own food!  What’s an old feline to do?   A mouse runs by me.  Did I just hear it snicker?  I start to whine.
  • 8:15 p.m.: I crawl out from under the porch.   My feelings are extremely  hurt.   This is Senior Feline abuse!  Who the hell leaves their old house cat outside?  I find the door and scratch it.  Yes!  Long, thin scratches.  The paint instantly peals off of the door in sheets.  I have made my mark.  But no one comes to the door to let me in.
  • 9:00 p.m.: I am crying and scratching at the door.  Still, no one comes to let me in the house.  Are they going to let me die out here?
  • 11:00 p.m.: I have given up.  I decide that I will freeze to death.  Just as I have resigned myself that I am about to lose the remaining 8 of my lives, a light goes on.  The door opens and my keeper scoops me up in her arms.   I purr with relief that she has found me and brought me inside.
  • 11:01 p.m.: That’s enough love for her!   I look at her with pure hate, hiss and dig my front claws into the Keeper’s arm.  She screams. All is right with the world.  I climb up onto the leather couch, dig my claws into the soft hide.  I curl up and go to sleep.
Another successful day has come to an end.

The “Beast” the humans call “Maya.”

This blog post was inspired by the great “Mama Kat’s Losin It” workshop.  Please click on the link for other fantastic articles from fabulous writers including Mama Kat.