Amph America's most banned books. 1 - Huh?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by halibut, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Champion of the Force Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 4
    The film is decent, though had some rather odd changes - whilst the references to Norway were understandably dropped (Dahl's parents were Norweigian which is why he often threw in token mentions of the country) the boy and his family (all British) were all made American (bizarre when you consider that all the action takes place in Britain anyway). They also changed the ending by having one of the witches turn good and have her restore the boy back to his normal self (in the book, all the witches were defeated, and the boy is stuck as a mouse forever).

    Atkinson and Huston are wonderful however, which is what really makes the film (particularly Atkinson - from memory the manager was only a minor character in the book but was expanded for the film and he does it so well).
  2. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    I absolutely loved this book as a kid and read it more times than I'd care to count. In fact, The Witches and Matilda, also by Dahl, were my favorite books for many, many years. No idea why anyone in their right mind would ban either of them.
  3. Kyptastic VIP

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    I started reading The Witches when I was very young, but the image of the head witch with her mask off scared me so much that I couldn't finish for many years. I enjoyed the story, even with its bittersweet ending once I did manage to finish it though.

    Also, if you're going to claim that the Witches is sexist towards women, you'd have to claim that The BFG is sexist towards men. It's a poorly thought out complaint.
  4. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    It's not sexist, IMO.

    Scary, yeah.
  5. Champion of the Force Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 4
    I find my reaction to the ending of the book - with the grandmother suggesting that due to being turned into a mouse the boy will probably only live approx. 9 years or so - a bit curious. The boy says he's happy because it means that he'll live only as long as her (she's in her 80s IIRC).

    As a kid (with all my grandparents still alive), I found that idea warm and fuzzy. As an adult 20 years later looking back, I find it quite sad and depressing. :(
  6. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    If I recall, didn't they only have each other? I think his parents might have died in a car crash or something.
  7. Champion of the Force Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 4
    They did. I was more just reflecting how different my viewpoints as a child and an adult can be.
  8. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    This is why Dahl is such a great writer for children. He understands them.
  9. DarthAJ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2004
    star 4
    I caught the film on television the other week, utter terror. [face_skull]
  10. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    I'd like to see that one.
  11. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    8 and 7. Scary + More Scary Stories in the Dark - Alvin Schwartz

    Not much to say here. We've already had part 3 in the list at number 50.

    Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark is a series of three children's books written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Luis Erique, Daniel Urena, and Stephen Gammell. The scary stories of the title are pieces of folklore and urban legends collected and adapted by Schwartz. The titles of the books are Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1981), More Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark (1984), and Scary Stories 3 : More Tales to Chill Your Bones (1991)?

    The first volume was published in 1981, and the books have subsequently been collected in both a box set and a single volume. There is also an audiobook version of each book, read by George S. Irving. Reprints of the books with new illustrations by Brett Helquist have been announced, and the 3rd book Scary Stories 3 More Tales To Chill Your Bones will be due out Jan 25 2011.

    This series is listed as being the most challenged series of books from 1990?1999 and seventh most challenged from 2000-2009 by the American Library Association for its religious viewpoint and violence as well as for being occultist, satanic, or inappropriate. Also there remains the problem of it being classified as a childrens' book, due to the surreal and nightmarish illustrations contained within.
  12. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Yes, yes, but. Kids *love* scary stories.

    This is so stupid.
  13. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    There's nothing wrong with kids getting a little frisson of horror now and then.
  14. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    The scariest thing in these books are the awesomely grotesque illustrations with the lines all over the place.
  15. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    6. Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

    Bridge to Terabithia is a work of children's literature about two lonely children who create a magical forest kingdom. It was written by Katherine Paterson and was published in 1977 by HarperCollins. In 1978, it won the Newbery Medal. Paterson drew inspiration for the novel from a real event that occurred in August 1974 when a friend of Paterson's son was struck by lightning and killed.

    Bridge to Terabithia is the story of fifth grader Jess Aarons, who becomes friends with his new neighbor Leslie Burke after he loses a footrace to her at school. Leslie is a smart, talented, outgoing tomboy, and Jess thinks highly of her. He himself is an artistic boy who, in the beginning of the novel, is fearful, angry, and depressed. After meeting Leslie, Jess is transformed. He becomes courageous and learns to let go of his frustration.

    The novel's content has been the frequent target of censors. The book is studied in English studies classes in Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States.

    Bridge to Terabithia has been adapted for the screen twice: a 1985 PBS TV movie and a 2007 Disney/Walden Media feature film.


    The only thing I can see in this book is that a child drowns. That's pretty much it. Can't see why it's so high on this list
  16. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Haven't read it, but I suppose the fact that reality intrudes is the problem.
  17. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Well, I've only seen the movie, but I could understand parent's/teacher's concerns; the movie handles the death of the main character's friend quite surprisingly and in a very realistic manner. She just, you know, DIES.
  18. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    It's more or less all about reality - the movie ads made the entire affair look far more fantastical than the book actually is.

    I recall this book being read to my fifth grade class over the course of a week or two for story time. I only caught some snippets because I was in a gifted program that required me to leave class at right about that time, but I don't recall anyone being particularly upset about the death - I think, by that age, most of us have lost at least one person in our lives. But, of course, god forbid we give kids a little credit for emotional maturity.
  19. Champion of the Force Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 4
    The death of a child in the book would be the most obvious target, but I wonder if 'Terabithia' itself (the magical kingdom the kids create out of their imagination) might also upset those of a more fundy bent.
  20. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    I doubt it. By the author's own admission, the name Terabithia is taken from a mystical land in the Chronicles of Narnia and that doesn't feature on this list

    (or does it? [face_thinking] )
  21. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    It's a beautiful book.

    The end.
  22. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Well said. As previously stated, it's the fact that it features the death of a child that's handled in a completely realistic way. Some might say this makes it essential read for youngsters, not one to be avoided. I would be one of those actually.
  23. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    5. The Chocolate War - Robert Cormier


    The Chocolate War is a young adult novel by American author Robert Cormier and first published in 1974. It was adapted into a film in 1988. Although it received mixed reviews at the time of its publication, some reviewers have argued it is one of the best young adult novels of all time. Set at the fictional Trinity High School, the story follows protagonist Jerry Renault as he challenges the school's cruel, brutal, and ugly mob rule. Because of the novel's language, the concept of a high school's secret society using intimidation to enforce the cultural norms of the school, and the protagonist's sexual ponderings, it has been the frequent target of censors
  24. PadmeA_Panties Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2003
    star 4
    This was required reading for 6th grade when I was in school. It was a good book at the time, and I never really thought it was that horrible; sans maybe the 'masturbation'/photograph scene.
  25. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6