Harry Potter Series Tops ALA List of the Decade's Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books
April 19, 2010, 05:47 AM
The American Library Association have issued a press release listing the 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009 and announcing an updated list of the top 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of the Decade (2000-2009). The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling have come at the top of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of the Decade list, followed by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice series and Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War. The press release comments that the Harry Potter series is "frequently challenged for various issues including occult/Satanism and anti-family themes." You can find the full list of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of the Decade on the ALA website at this link.
Thanks to MuggleNet for the heads up!
People who try to get books banned do not deserve press. Harry Potter is definitely NOT anti-family, and its main theme is the triumph of good over evil. People think because its characters are witches and wizards, that it is a “dangerous” series of books. Thank God, most readers have thought that idea was, as Ron once said about his belongings, “Rubbish.” I wonder if these same folks read “The Wizard of Oz”? HMMM?
What better way to squash ignorance and promote our beloved series! I think I wrote something similar when this article surfaced last year. Lol. Seriously though, would there be a magnificent light without the dark?
Hi I would like to start by saying ONLY IN THE U.S.A. would this happen and I think it shows a side to some of the religious peoples of the U.S. that is truly worrying. The fact that they can take a book like Harry potter and say it’s anit-family, occult and satanic portrays a level of misunderstanding that (I hope) shocks most people. Anyone who has actually READ! Harry Potter would surely, in my mined come to the conclusion the Harry Potter promotes bravery, family and most of all the unfathomable power of love. It’s fine if you don’t like Harry Potter (thought I don’t know why you wouldn’t ) it’s a free world (or meant to be) but I don’t think it’s ok to try and stop people reading something just because you don’t like it. Lastly I would like to offer my advice to anyone trying ban or sensor Harry Potter, you will quite simply NEVER succeed, they are to many people who love Harry Potter and see it for what it truly is, one of the best books ever write, by the one of the best authors to ever write.
Also to those who think magic is evil I would ask ‘what is turning water to wine or walking on water but magic?’’
I’m not going to post a rant because it’s so obvious to everyone that these claims are unfounded. I think Zhiyal said it best!
that’s really unfair…judging without reading…harry potter is “anti family”, displays “santism”..!! common guys grow up!!
they don’t have any idea of what they are talking about…! STUPID people making STUPID list…
Good job JKR, way to piss off religious morons… if only they didn’t all have guns.
I thought it would get better after Harry did a Jesus at the end though, seems I was wrong.
I think the people who consider Harry Potter “anti-family” only read the first couple chapters of PS/SS where the Dursleys are neglecting/abusing Harry. I think they would prefer to read books about perfect families where nothing bad ever happens, because that is soooo interesting.
I agree with what a previous poster said. This shows a lack of imagination and understanding of what fiction is.
what r thay talking about
Please people, these are fantasy books after all. Yes they are in the mainstream and yes they are very entertaining but Occult? If anything, there are a ton of Christian themes mentioned. I say read anything you like. It’s up to you to decide how to view the work and the world.
Here’s a real witch (Wiccan) weighing in: The great irony of these protests by Christian fundamentalists is that if any group ought to find the HP books “offensive” on religious grounds, it’s us neo-Pagans. After all, they purport to depict “witches” and “magic” without any reference whatsoever to even the most basic religious underpinnings of Wiccan practice. To give an obvious example, the kids at Hogwarts get school holidays at Christmas and Easter, not Beltane or Imbolc or Lammas, and their Halloween feast is a commercialized pop-culture version that bears no relation to the solemnities of Samhain as celebrated by real Pagans. At Hogwarts the suits of armor sing Christian carols at Christmas. People occasionally say things like “Thank God,” but nobody ever once mentions the Goddess, even in the watered-down form of Mother Nature. The books’ characters are the most Anglican gaggle of “witches” ever scribed down on paper.
Another dead giveaway that these books lack any reference to real-world witchcraft is the fact that the whole storyline is based on a classic conflict of Good versus Evil, Light versus Dark. This view of the Cosmos is definitive of the patriarchal monotheistic tradition (Judeo/Christian/Islamic). I know it’s hard to get one’s brain around the idea that there might be ANOTHER way of looking at the Cosmos, if that’s the way you’ve been brought up, but Pagans just don’t view it that way. Ask what metaphor works better for us and we’d probably draw you a spiral. Granted, it’s hard to market a young adult novel structured like a spiral – not very dramatic, is it?
That’s why it’s so laughable that so many people equate Wicca with Satanism. Satanism is just a warped and twisted version of Christianity, starring the same cast of characters in role reversal. We Pagans not only don’t worship Satan; we actually don’t believe in him. There is no “personification of Evil” in Wicca because we don’t think “Good versus Evil” is how the Universe works. And the reason we roll our eyes when you ask us, “Do you practice White Magic or Black Magic?” is that this is rather like asking, “Are you held to the Earth by White Gravity or Black Gravity?”
Magick (as we spell it), in our worldview, is a basic force of Nature that people can train themselves to invoke and, to some degree (though not in the blatant ways that spells are cast in the HP books), manipulate. It’s kind of the glue that holds the Universe together; nuclear physicists have other names for it. It’s not good or evil (although it has cycles of creation and destruction, just as cells grow and die in our bodies); it just IS. We recognize many deities – or I should say many different aspects of the primal God and Goddess – and some of them are personifications of the “destructive” phase of the life cycle, but that doesn’t make them “evil,” any more than it is evil to shed dead skin. And we certainly don’t believe in “devils” or “demons” whom we can invoke to wield “dark powers”; those stories are the fantasies of the Inquisition, made up to rationalize the persecution of people who were presenting too much competition to the business of Church university-trained doctors by practicing traditional arts of herbal medicine. (Many if not most Wiccans practice herbalism, but not all herbalists are Wiccans.)
But I digress. There are places people can go to research Paganism and Wicca if they wish to know more. (And that is entirely up to them. Pagans vary widely in their beliefs and practices – there is very little dogma – but one thing we all have in common is that we don’t proselytize.) What I did want to point out, though, is that although we have more reason than most to be annoyed by the Potter books, most Pagans I know actually find them fun and enjoyable. After all, if you’re going to survive in a world where many people would like to go back to the Burning Times, it helps to have a sense of humor! And everybody needs a little fantasy escape sometimes. There’s the bottom line: The HP novels are pure escapist fantasy. Any resemblance to actual witches, living or dead, is purely coincidental. (And hopefully, no actual witches were harmed in the production of these movies.)