Written by on September 17, 2012

Dammit (episode 11)

This is episode 11 of 12.  Beware!  This podcast contains unsavory language, used sparsely for illustrative purposes…mostly.

In Episode 11 “Dammit,” Kristen and I discuss books on ALA’s Top 100 Banned and Challenged Books of 2000-2009 that have been challenged for offensive language.  As you’ll hear in the podcast, what constitutes “offensive language” is highly subjective, and sometimes, a book is challenged for just one appearance of a curse word.  I just can’t believe that someone would write off the contents of an entire book because of an objectionable word.  I could go on with platitudes about seeing forests and trees and throwing out babies with bathwater, but I think we all get the message by now: it’s okay if you decide a book is not right for you or your loved ones.  That is your decision- hooray freedom!  But for the love of all things wholesome, patriotic, and Amurrrican, let other people decide for themselves!

This podcast is just one of eight awesome things Kennedy Library is doing to celebrate Banned Books Week, including an interactive infographic!  Check it out at Kennedy Library’s Banned Books Week hub.

–Michele Wyngard

Books we discuss:

  • Anastasia (series) by Lois Lowry, #75 on the Top 100 Banned and Challenged Books of the last decade
  • Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going, #58
  • Crazy Lady by Jane Leslie Conly, #45
  • The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar, #92

Honorable mentions (a.k.a. books that fit this category but we didn’t have time to discuss):

  • There are way too many to list.  In fact, offensive language is the most popular reason to ban/challenge a book, so chances are good that whatever book you pick off the list will have some language that is offensive to someone, somewhere.  Check out our infographic for all the books challenged for offensive language.

To learn more about what we discussed, check out these websites:

Lois Lowry discussing and reading from Anastasia Krupnik

Check out the preview for the movie version of Fat Kid Rules the World

A guide to teaching Crazy Lady, including some excerpts of an interview with the author

Louis Sachar’s official web site

and these ridiculously informative books:

Doyle, R.P. (2010). Banned books: Challenging our freedom to read. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Foerstel, H.N. (2002). Banned in the U.S.A: A reference guide to book censorship in schools and public libraries. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.


This podcast series, I’m with the Banned features personal conversations between Michele and Kristen, a reflection of their year of reading and research. They, like the Kennedy Library, hope you are inspired to have your own conversations to explore ideas around these complex topics.

Read more on ALA, american library association, anastasia krupnik, banned books, banned books week 2012, cal poly, crazy lady, fat kid rules the world, freedom to read, i'm with the banned, jane leslie conly, k.l. going, kennedy library, lois lowry, luis sachar, podcast, and the boy who lost his face.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.