In honor of Banned Books Week, let’s look at a few of the more outrageous examples of book banning in the past.
1: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
I remember reading this book when I was little. It was so cute. Who knew that it was filled with so much hate and anarchist sentiment?
Apparently, Sylvester was banned because one of the illustrations depicts pigs dressed as policemen. This was believed to perpetuate the “cops are pigs” smear. 😕
2: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
In 1931, this beloved fantasy novel was banned by the governor of the Huan province who claimed that by giving animal character human characteristics, the book demeaned the worth of human beings. Because of anyone cares about human life, it’s China. (And just so we’re clear, I am being entirely sarcastic.)
3: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Glad to see that the administrators of America’s public school are such discerning souls. In 1983, the Alabama State Textbook Committee asked that this classic be banned. Why? Because it was (DIRECT QUOTE) “a real downer.” No, really?! A book written by a Jewish girl about the Holocaust? Who woulda thunk?
4: Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
This year in fact, a parent actually asked the Toronto Public Library to ban this book because it supposedly encouraged children to be violent toward their fathers. However, the library argued against the measure by pointing out that the book actually tells kids not to hop on their fathers. Well crisis averted, then!
Know any other stories of ridiculous book bannings? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!