I wonder if this kid’s school is practicing a little reverse psychology. You know, a lot of these titles are books kids would never willingly read & would complain mightily about if told they had to read them. Tell them they can’t, however, and they all want to read every word of every banned book, not even realizing many of them are the type of books other kids HAVE to read in school. Whatever, they’re reading & excited about it.
I can’t shake the feeling that this is a hoax. That list is such a mish-mash of much-loved classics and much-loved modern classics, it almost seems tailored to spark outrage among the masses. Yes, the author says this is just a “partial” list, but…The Canterbury Tales? Seriously? Yes, it’s racy – assuming, in this case, your average high school student can understand more than the occasional word of it without someone to teach them.
What kind of school is this supposed to be? They’re banning the Qur’an? I just don’t see it, even at a Catholic school. And in case anyone’s forgotten, Roald Dahl’s “The Witches” does not glorify the titular characters. Finally, for someone who apparently spends so much time nose-deep in novels, this person sure can’t spell.
If it is a joke, it would be a pretty pointless one, but it’s not like there’s any lack of bored, petty, amateur hoax-ters on the web.
wow what an interesting discussion. at the same time, it does not seem like it could be real but yet it appears to be. sometimes I wonder what school’s are thinking when they do this kind of thing? Especially since as many people pointed out with their answers, many of them are considered classics and popular reading list books at many other schools. time for some people to get their heads out of the clouds.
It appeals to the optimist in me to hope that this is a true story.
At the same time I must admit the list of banned books are rather mixed, and I find it hard to believe any school could ban the Quran without bringing some pretty heavy retaliation on themsevles. Plus the asker’s profile says they’re an aspiring writer, could support Erik’s theory.
“…I don’t know how anyone with internet access these days doesn’t start with the basic assumption that everything they read is false until proven otherwise and with multiple sources. Kind of a wikipedia approach to everything.”
Whether or not it’s true (and yes, I’m skeptical), I’m not sure I would recommend that a kid keep an entire library of his/her own books on private school property if they are explicitly banned. I’d probably tell the kid to keep them at home and run the library from his or her house with multiple drop-off/exchange options. While I’m certain a private school can say they don’t want students reading certain books, if the students are doing it off campus I doubt many parents will truly support any school actions taken to discipline their children for reading a book.
This depresses me because it’s yet another illustration of how gullible so many of my colleagues are. Remember that notorious list of the books Sarah Palin supposedly banned?
I’m also reminded of that news story about the student who claimed that FBI agents hassled him about his interlibrary loans (also a hoax). On one of the library listservs I’m on, the few people who dared to express skepticism about that incident were subjected to a pompous lecture on “speaking truth to power.”
We tell everyone about how we’re so good at evaluating the quality of information, but when something comes along that props up our personal mythology about heroic, courageous librarians, the skeptical part of our brains shut off. It’s pathetic.
Hi. My name is Jessamyn West and I'll be your librarian today. I work in rural Vermont as a library technologist and am a community manager at MetaFilter.com. My personal blog is at jessamyn.com. This blog's twitter feed @librarian.net. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments.