One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

by Banned Library in


A man trying to escape prison finds himself locked up in the worst way in this psychadelic novel about conformity, individuality, and sanity.

Banned

#49 ALA's Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

1971 - Colorado - Challenged in Greenley public school district as non-required reading.

1974 - Ohio - Five residents sued the board of education to remove the book from classrooms, saying it was "pornographic" and ”glorifies criminal activity, has a tendency to corrupt juveniles, and contains descriptions of bestiality, bizarre violence, and torture, dismemberment, death, and human elimination."

1975

New York - removed from Randolph public schools

Oklahoma - removed from Alton public schools

1977 - Maine - Removed from required reading list in Westport

1978 - Idaho - Banned from Freemont High School in St. Anthony and the instructor was terminated.

1982 - New Hampshire - challenged in Merrimack high school

1986 - Washington - challenged but retained in Aberdeen high school for use in honors English for promoting "secular humanism"

2000 - California - Parents at the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District complained about profanity and sexual situations and petitioned to have the book removed. Parent of children aged 7,8, and 17 Anna Marie Buckner said "It teaches how very easy it is to smother somebody. I don't want to put these kinds of images in children's minds. They're going to think that when they get mad at their parents, they can just ax them out."

Sources

ALA. "Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century." ALA. 2018. Retrieved on 2018 Jaunuary 26 from http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=bbwlinks&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=136590

ALA. "Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009." Retrieved on 18 Jan 26 from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/top-100-bannedchallenged-books-2000-2009

Baldassarro, R. Wolf. "Banned Books Awareness: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey." world.edu. 2012. Retrieved 2018 January 26 from http://world.edu/banned-books-awareness-flew-cuckoos-nest-ken-kesey/

Biography.com. "Ken Kesey Biography.com." The Biography.com website. A&E Television Networks. March 23, 2016. Retrieved 2018 January 26 from https://www.biography.com/people/ken-kesey-9363911

Doyle, Robert P. Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read. ALA. 2014.

Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Viking. 1962; 2002.

Tran, Mai. "Parents Ask School District to Ban 'Cuckoo's Nest.'" LA Times. 2000. Retrieved 2018 January 26 from http://articles.latimes.com/2000/dec/03/local/me-60611


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Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

by Banned Library in


Cat's Cradle: A Novel
By Kurt Vonnegut

The world is ending with the water freezing over and the library is getting sued as we continue with Kurt Vonnegut month!

Banned

1972 - Ohio - Strongsville School Board voted to be withdrawn from the school libraries. Overturned in 1976 by U.S. District Court in Minarcini Vs Strongsville City School District

1982 - New Hampshire - Challenged at Merrimack High School

Sources

Doyle, Robert P. Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read. ALA. 2014.

"Dances and Dames" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/




The Fighting Ground by Avi

by Banned Library in ,


A novel about the Revolutionary War meets a story about librarian spring break gone bad.

Banned

2000 - New Hampshire - Challenged yet retained by a "concerned Christian" as part of the John Fuller School curriculum in Conway

2008 - Florida - Banned from the shelves of Bay District school library in Panama City after a parent complained of profanities by soldiers.

#42 Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

Sources

Doyle, Robert P. Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom To Read. ALA: 2014.

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009 http://www.ala.org/bbooks/top-100-bannedchallenged-books-2000-2009 

"Dances and Dames" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/




The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

by Banned Library in


The Catcher in the Rye
By J.D. Salinger

Advice and ghosts are in the library as well as the classic novel about a whiny jerk going out on the town and learning that life if full of hypocrisy, even himself.


Banned

1960 - Oklahoma - Teacher was fired in Tulsa from an 11th grade English position for assigning the book. Teacher appealed and was reinstated but the book was removed from the school

1963 - Ohio - Columbus parents asked the school board to ban the novel for being "anti-white" and "obscene." The school board refused.

1975 - Pennsylvania - Removed from reading list after parents complained about the language and content. The book was reinstated after the school board vote, orginally 5-4, was deemed illegal as they required a two-thirds vote in favor to remove a text.

1977 - New Jersey - Challenged and the board ruled the book could be read in an advanced placement class with parental permission.

1978 - Washington - Issaquah school removed it from their optional reading list

1979 - Michigan - Removed from the required reading list at Middleville.

1980 - Ohio - Removed from Jackson Milton school libraries in North Jackson

1982

Alabama - Removed from Anniston High School libraries and later reinstated

Manitoba, Canada - Removed from school libraries in Morris along with two other books as they violate committee's guidelines covering "excess vulgar language, sexual scenes, things  concerning moral issues, excessive violence, and anything dealing with the occult."

1983 - Montana - Challenged at Libby High School due to the book's contents

1985 - Florida - Banned from English classes at the Freeport High School in De Funiak Springs as being "unacceptable" and "obscene"

1986 - Wyoming - Removed from Medicine Bow senior high school English reading list because of profanity and sexual references

1987 - North Dakota - Banned from a required sophomore English reading list at Napoleon High School after parents and the local Knights of Columbus chapter complained of profanity and sexual references

1988 - Indiana - Challenged at the Linton-Stockton High School as being "blasphemous and undermines morality"

1989 - California - Muroc Joint Unified School District board in Boron High School removed the book from school reading lists after parents complain the novel was unsuitable because of profanity, blasphemy and promotion of anti-family values. Local resident and religious activist Patty Salazar said she supports the board action because the novel "doesn't belong in a public high school." "It uses the Lord's name in vain 200 times," she said. "That's enough reason to ban it right there. They say it describes reality. I say let's back up from reality. Let's go backwards. Let's go back to when we didn't have an immoral society."

1991 - Illinois - Challenged at Grayslake Community High School

1992

Illinois - Challenged at the Jamaica High School in Sidell for profanity, depiction of premarital sex, alcohol abuse, and prostitution

Iowa - Challenged at Waterloo schools for profanity, lurid passages about sex, and statements defamatory to minorities, God, women, and the disabled.

Florida - Challenged at Duval County public school libraries for profanity, lurid passages about sex, and statements defamatory to minorities, God, women, and the disabled.

Pennsylvania - Challenged at the Cumberland Valley High School after parent's objections of profanity and immorality.

1993 - California - Challenged and retained at Corona Norco Unified School district because it is "centered around negative activity."

1994

Wisconsin - Challenged but retained at the New Richmond High School for use in some English classes

New Hampshire - Challenged as mandatory reading in the Goffstown schools for language and sexual content

1995 - Florida - Challenged at the St. Johns County Schools

1996 - Maine - Parent challenged over the word "fuck" ("f" word) at teh Oxford Hills High School

1997

Georgia - Challenged but retained at the Glynn Academy High School in Brunswick after a student objected to profanity and sexual content.

California - Removed by school superintendent required reading curriculum of the Marysville Joint Unified School District  to get it "out of the way so that we didn't have that polarization over a book."

1999-2000 - Georgia - Vanned and reinstated after community protests at the Windsor Forest High School in Savannah after a parent complained about the sex, violence, and profanity

2000 - Alabama - Challenged but retained at the Limestone County school district after complaints of language

2001

South Carolina - Removed by a Dorchester District 2 school board member in Summerville because it "is a filthy, filthy book."

Georgia - Challenged by a school board member for language but retained in Glynn County

2005 – Maine - Challenged, but retained as an assigned reading in the Noble High School in North Berwick.

2009 – Montana - Challenged in the Big Sky high School in Missoula

2010 - Florida - Challenged but retained in the Martin School District after a parent's complaint for language




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The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

by Banned Library in


Welcome to the literary deconstruction of race and beauty in this book about… holy crap that's what this book is about?! Evan might talk about the armadillos that are trying to sex each other.


Banned

#34 on the 100 most frequently challenged books: 1990–1999

#15 on the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

1994

Alaska - Removed from a Lathrop High School classroom in Fairbanks for graphic descriptions and language.

Pennsylvania - Challenged at West Chester schools as pornographic

Banned from Morrisville Borough High School English after complaints of sexual content and language

1995

Florida - Challenged at the St Johns County Schools in St Augustine

Massachusetts - Challenged at Lynn schools for sexual content

1998 - Maryland - Challenged on Montgomery County reading lists and school library shelves

1999 - New Hampshire - Removed from reading list for nnth and tenth grade at Stevens High School in Claremont after a parent's complaint about sexual content

2003 - California - Challenged, but retained at the Kern High School District in Bakersfield despite complaints of the book's sexually explicit material.

2005 - Colorado - Banned from the Littleton curriculum and library shelves after complaints about its explicit sex, including the rape of an eleven-year-old girl by her father.

2007 - Michigan - Challenged in the Howell High School because of the book's strong sexual content. In response from the president of the Livingston Organization for Values in Education (LOVE), the county's top law enforcement official reviewed the book to see whether laws against distribution of sexually explicit materials to minors had been broken. The county prosecutor wrote, "Whether these materials are appropriate for minors is a decision to be made by the school board, but I find that they are not in violation of the criminal laws."

2009 - Indiana - Retained in the Delphi Community High School's curriculum despite claims of inappropriate sexual content and graphic language.

2011 - Connecticut - Challenged in the Brookfield High School curriculum because of sex scenes, profanity, and age-appropriateness of the book. Students in the high school have been reading Morrison's book since 1995.

2013

Alabama - In August, Alabama State Senator Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison) also called for his state to bar students from reading the book, taking issue with the work’s language and content.

Colorado - Challenged in Legacy High School's Advanced Placement English classes in Adams County because it was a "bad book." A notice was sent home to let parents know what they would be reading and why and an alternate assignment was offered to those who wanted it. Half a dozen students of about 150 opted to read one of the alternative texts and received instruction on those works outside of class time.

Ohio - Challenged on a suggested reading list for Columbus high school students by the school board president because it is inappropriate for the school board to "even be associated with it." A fellow board member described the book as having "an underlying socialist-communist agenda."

2014

North Carolina - East Wake High in Wake County removed the book from readings lists along with The Color Purple after a parent complained. The books are retained in the school library.

2015 - Oklahoma - Challenged, but retained in the Durant high school library despite a parent's concerns over sexual and violent content.




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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

by Banned Library in


Some library news, an autobiography steeped in racial overtones, crimes against children and sex, and then a little alien abduction in the library.

Banned

1983 - Alabama State Textbook Committee because the work preaches "bitterness and hatred against whites."

1987 - Raleigh, North Carolina because of complaints about and eight-year-old gets raped

1988 - Strong, Maine for rape

1990 - Bremerton, Washington for the "graphic" depiction of molestation

1991 - Banning, California after parents complained about child molestation and rape

1992 - Pleasanton, California for sexually explicit language

1993

Haines City High School, Florida library and English curriculum for rape of an eight year old

Columbus, Mississippi as "too sexually explicit to be read by children"

Hooks High School, Texas

1994

Castle Rock, Colorado because it is a "lurid tale of sexual perversion"

Des Moines, Iowa after a parent objected to inappropriately explicit sexual scenes

Austin, Texas because "the book is pornographic, contains profanity, and encourages premarital sex and homosexuality." Children required parental permission.

1995

Gilbert Unified School, Arizona after parents complained it did not represent "traditional values"

Volusia County County Schools, Florida because "It is sexually explicit and promotes cohabitation and rape"

Caddo Parish, Louisiana because of books language and objectionable content. Students petitioned and demonstrated and got it reinstated.

Hendersonville, Beech High School, Tennessee

Danforth High School, Wimberley, Texas

Southlake, Carroll School, Texas deemed it "pornographic" and full of "gross evils"

1996

Moulton, Alabama by School Superintendent, who decided "the poet's descriptions of being raped as a little girl were pornographic."

Round Rock Independent High School, Texas for being too violent.

1997

Folsom Cordova School District, California for containing sexually explicit passages

Wayne County High School, Georgia for the novel's sexual explicitness

Richfield High School, Minnesota for being too explicit

Turrentine Middle School, North Carolina where parents complained of profanity and sexual references

Union Township, Ohio for description of rape at age eight and other sexual content

Mukilteo, Washington for being sexually explicit

1998

Brooksville, Florida for passage about author's rape at age eight and sexual content

Anne Arundel County, Maryland after parents complained the book "portrays white people as being horrible, nasty, stupid people - if a child didn't have negative feelings about white people, this could sow the seeds." Challenge overridden after sexually explicit complaints.

Alamance, North Carolina

1999 - Unity Elementary School, New Hampshire for being "too sexually explicit."

2000 - Poolesville High School, Maryland for sexual content and language

2002

Montana for underage sex, rape, and homosexuality

Fairfax County, Virginia by Parents Against Bad Books in Schools for profanity, drugs, explicit sexual content, and torture.

2006

Annapolis, Maryland for rape scenes and being too mature for age group

Fond du Lac High School, Wisconsin for underage rape and unwanted pregnancy

2007

Coeur d'Alene School District, Idaho

Manheim Township, Pennsylvania for sexual references

2009

California

Ocean View School District for being inappropriate for children

Newman-Crows Landing School District after a trustee questioned staff qualifications to teach a novel depicting African American culture.

2016 - Illinois - Parents and residents wished it be removed from Lemont High School due to sexual content. The school board said the students could read other books in place.

Sources

Doyle, Robert P. "66. Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read. American Library Association, 2014. pg 98-99

Raw Story - Illinois parents call for ‘smut’ book ban: ‘We can’t have 18-year-olds reading about sexual issues’

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Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

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The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

by Banned Library in


The Chocolate War
By Robert Cormier

High school cults, library wars, evil teachers, and chocolate. Oh yeah, we had fun with this one.


Banned

1981 - Michigan - Challenged and temporarily removed from the English curriculum in two Lapeer high schools because of "offensive language and explicit descriptions of sexual situations in the book."

1982 - Maryland - Removed from Liberty High School in Westminster for language, violence, and degradation of schools and teachers

1983 - Rhode Island - Challenged at the Richmond High School as being deemed "pornographic" and "repulsive"

1984

Arizona - Removed from Lake Havasu High School freshman reading list. The school board said the teachers were not setting good examples, fostering disrespect in the classroom and failing to support the board. 

South Carolina - Banned from the Richland Two School District middle school libraries in Columbia due to language but later reinstated for eighth graders.

1985

New York - Challenged at Cornwall High School as "Humanistic and destructive of religious and moral beliefs and of national spirit"

Pennsylvania - Banned from the Stroudsburg High School library for being "blatantly graphic, pornographic, and wholly unacceptable for a high school library"

1986

Florida - Removed from Panama City school classrooms for language

Massachusetts - Challenged at Barnstable High School in Hyannis for profanity, masterbation and sexual fantasies, and "ultimately for its pessimistic ending." The novel fostered negative impressions of authority, schools, and religious schools.

1987 - California - Challenged at Moreno Valley Unified School District libraries for profanity, sex, and themes that encourage disrespectful behavior.

1988 - Florida - West Hernando Middle School principal recommended all Cormier's books removed.

1990

Connecticut - Challenged as suitable curriculum material in Harwinton and Burlington schools for profanity and setting bad examples and giving negative views of life

New Hampshire - Suspended from classroom use at Woodsville High School in Haverhill for language, masturbation, sexual fantasies, and derogatory characterizations of a teacher and religious communities

1992 - Connecticut - Challenged at New Milford for language, sex, violence, subjectivity, and negativism

1993 - Arizona - Challenged at Kyrene elementary for masturbation

1994

Georgia - Returned to the Hephzibah High School in Augusta after lack of educational content and a parent said "If they ever send a book like that home with one of my daughters again I will personally burn it and throw the ashes on the principal's desk."

New York - Challenged at Hudson Falls schools for rape, masturbation, violence, and degrading treatment of women

1995

Massachusetts - Challenged at Nauset Regional Middle School in Orleans for profanity and sexually explicit language

Pennsylvania - Challenged at Stroudsburg school sytstem that the book will "foster disobedience."

1996

California - Removed in Riverside Unified School District as inappropriate for seventh and eighth grade to read without sclass discussion for mature themes, sexual situations, and smoking

Pennsylvania - Removed from East Stroudsburg after complaints for language and content

1998

Oklahoma - Banned from Broken Arrow schools as the "antithesis of the district's character development curriculum."

Texas - Removed from Greenville Intermediate School library for "blasphemy, profanity, and graphic sexual passages"

1999 - New York - Challenged on required reading list at Colton schools for masturbation, profanity, disrespect of women, and sexual innuendo

2000

Colorado - Challenged at Silverheels Middle School's supplemental reading material in South Park after parents objected to sexually suggestive language

Massachusetts - Challenged on the eighth grade reading list at Lancaster School District for language and content

Ohio - Challenged at Maple Heights School for teaching immorality

Pennsylvania - REtained as optional reading at Rice Avenue Middle School in Girard after a grandmother found the book offensive and didn't want her grandchild reading it.

Virginia - Challenged in York County due to sexually explicit language

2001

Florida - Challenged but retained at the Dunedin Highland Middle School in St. Petersburg after objections of profanity, masturbation, sexual fantasy, and segments of the book that were considered denigrating to girls

Ohio - Challenged at a Beaver Local Board of Education in Lisbon as "pornographic" 

2002 - Virginia - Challenged along with seventeen other tiles in Fairfax County elementary and secondary libraries by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools after the group contended the book had profanity, drug abuse, sexually explicit content, and torture.

2006

Connecticut - Challenged and retained at King Philip Middle School in West Hartford parents thought it was unsuitable, had language, sexual content, and violence

North Carolina - Challenged for "vulgar and sexually explicit language" by Wake County parents who received support of the ban from Called2Action, a Christian group that says its mission is to “promote and defend our shared family and social values.”

2007

Indiana - Challenged at Coeur d'Alene School District after parents say the book should require parental permission.

Illinois - Challenged at required reading at John H Kinzie Elementary School in Chicago

Maryland - Removed from Harford County High School because it's message of bullying is overshadowed by vulgar language including homophobic slurs. In Nov. 2007, the superintendent reversed the decision. 

Ohio - Challenged at Northridge School in Johnstown because "if these books were a movie, they would be rated R. Why should we be encouraging them to read these books?"

Oregon - Lake Oswego junior high school because the novel is “peppered with profanities, ranging from derogatory slang terms to sexual encounters, and violence.”

Sources

Doyle, Robert P. Banned Books: Challenging our Freedom to Read. 2014.

Banned Books Awareness, AVClub, Marshall University Libraries, Time.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J K Rowling

by Banned Library in ,


The Harry Potter that started it all! Join Evan as he talks about wizards, wizardry, how Hogwarts is a hellscape, and how unicorns are not innocent.


Banned

1999

California - Parent's objected to the book's use in two Moorpark elementary schools

Colorado - Parents objected at Douglas County schools

New York - Parents objected in suburban Buffalo among other districts

South Carolina - Challenged in schools because "the book has a serious tone of death, hate, lack of respect, and sheer evil."

2000

Ontario, Canada - Challenged but retained in the Durham School District because of witchcraft

Brisbane, Australia - Banned from Christian Outreach College library, being considered violent and dangerous

Alabama - Challenged but retained in Arab school libraries, claiming the author "is a member of the occult and the book encourages children to practice witchcraft."

California

Challenged but retained in the Simi Valley School District after a parent complained the book was violent, anti-family, had a religious theme, and lacked educational value.

Challenged but retained at the Orange Grove Elementary School for magic and bad experiences.

Challenged in the Fresno Unified School District by a religious group voicing concerns about sorcery and witchcraft.

Florida - Challenged in six Santa Rosa County schools in Pace for witchcraft.

Iowa - Challenged in Cedar Rapids school libraries because the book romantically portrays witches, warlocks, wizards, goblins, and sorcerers

Illinois - Challenged but retained in Frankfort School District 157-C after parents complained of lying and smart-aleck retorts to adults.

Michigan

Zeeland schools restricted the book to parental permission for fifth to eighth graders as well as no future installments would be purchased. Restrictions were overturned by the superintendent except one: teachers are prohibited from reading the book aloud to students below sixth grade. Restrictions place because the book contained an intense story line, violence, wizardry, and the sucking of animal blood.

Removed from Bridgeport Township public school for promoting witchcraft

New Hampshire - Challenged but retained in the Newfound Area School District in Bristol despite complaints the book was scary.

New York - Challenged at the Salamanca elementary school library for dark themes

Oregon - Challenged in Bend at Three Rivers Elementary school for witchcraft and concerns that the book would lead children to hatred and rebellion

Texas - Restricted to parental permission in the Santa Fe School District because of witchcraft promotion

2001

Florida - Challenged but retained in the Duval County school libraries despite complaint of witchcraft.

New Mexico - Burned in Alamogordo outside Christ Community Church as being "a masterpiece of satanic deception."

Pennsylvania - Challenged in Bucktown's Owen J. Roberts School District because the "books are telling children over and over again that lying, cheating, and stealing are not only acceptable, but that they're cool and cute."

2002

Moscow, Russia - Challenged by a Slavic cultural organization that alleged the stories about magic and wizards could draw students into Satanism

United Arab Emirates - one of 26 books banned from schools that contradicts Islamic and Arab values

Arkansas - Originally challenged for characterizing authority as "stupid" and portrays "good witches and good magic" and placed on restricted access. Parents of a fourth-grader filed a federal lawsuit against the restriction and the federal judge overturned the restriction.

Kentucky - A teacher's prayer group in Russell Springs proposed this for ghosts, cults, and witchcraft as well as fifty other titles for removal. 

2003 - Connecticut - Challenged but retained in the New Haven schools as it "makes witchcraft and wizardry alluring to children"

 

2006 - Georgia - Gwinnett County for guess what, but the school board rejected it. Georgia Board of Education ruled December 14, 2006 that the parent had failed to prove her contention that the series "promote[s} the Wicca religion and therefore that the book's availability in public schools does not constitute advocacy of a religion." On May 29, 2007, Superior Court judge Ronnie Batchelor upheld the Georgia Board of Education's decision to support local school officials. County school board members have said the bo oks are good tools to encourage children to read and to spark creativity and imagination.

2007 - Massachusetts - Removed from the St. Joseph School in Wakefield because the themes of witchcraft and sorcery were inappropriate for a Catholic school.

2010 - Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Salvation Army post refusing to take donations of Harry Potter items because they “promote black magic and the occult.”


Sources

Doyle, Robert P. Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read. 2014.

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Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins

by Banned Library in



Banned

2010 - New Hampshire - Challenged by a parent to the Goffstown school board who claimed it gave her 11-year-old nightmares and could numb other students to violence


What if you wanted to kill children in a systematic and fun way? Well, first you’d ravage the environment, centralize the government creating a wild utopia surrounded by disparate states who’d fund the utopia, and then set up an elaborate reality show where in children from these disparate states would battle for the death for the pride of their state. In the Hunger Games, we see this dream come to fruition and succeed and then fail through the eyes of Katniss Everdeen, the girl with the Mockingjay tattoo but really just a pin.

The story of the Hunger Games is old as time itself. Following Katniss, we see her enter into the battle royal against her will and compete for her life while finding sorta love and a sense of purpose while the world collapses around her. The first novel centers on her entrance into the games and the set up of the world, showing how the society is focused on the horrific murder of children by children for children. The second book continues with her post traumatic stress, throwing her back into the games as a way to discredit the martyr she became. The third book centers around the open rebellion and overthrow of the games and the Capitol that creates them, showing the horrors of war and the effect it has on our characters while being fairly poorly planned as a written story. Each builds on the other to a disappointing, yet final ending. Or does it? Sure, why not.

The reason these books are mentioned here are three fold: there’s a movie coming out, they are extremely popular, and they are about child murder. Children in jeopardy is a long held trope in fiction, back when Huckleberry Finn and Treasure Island kid were going off to have adventures and establish themselves as kids dealing with horrific stuff. The Hunger Games series amps up the trauma for today’s youth by having violence, eugenic experiments, and a centralized government that celebrates the horror for entertainment. The twist the later books depend on, that even the good guys can become broken monsters when fighting monsters, also lend credence that humanity as a whole is broken and worthy of destruction by our own hand. Sure, one government murders children in televised games but the approaching new world order did not get there by holding hands and singing “Timber” as the previous government fell. Nobody gets out of the Hunger Games series untouched, even the guy doing it for love who gets brainwashed into becoming a violent killing machine.

The series was clearly rushed in the writing and publication. The first book is a straightforward tale, thought-out and well plotted while the second and third amble along admirably under the same “meet everybody for the first half and go into battle mode for the second half.” The psychology of the characters is interesting and developed if you read into the narrative, but on the surface comes across as boring melodrama between teens in a war setting. The third book suffers the most as the set up is supposed to be a shock to the reader yet comes across as bland and formulaic after the initial reveal wears off. By the end, there is little for our narrator and heroine to do, possibly a theme of the piece but more often than not boring. Come for the child murder but stick around because why not finish these easy to digest books.


Sources

Doyle, Robert P. Banned Books: Challenging our Freedom to Read. 2014



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