The Celestial Cuppa | Banned Books Week

celestialcuppaWelcome to The Celestial Cuppa–Celestial Carousel’s weekly discussion post. Grab a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate with those teeny marshmallows on top and join the conversation!

Yesterday officially marked the start of Banned Books Week! While it deeply saddens me that we live in a world that still finds it appropriate to restrict what we’re permitted to read, I’m grateful that we have such a fantastic book blogger community and organizations like the ALA to stand up for our right to read whatever we like!

Some of my personal favorite banned/challenged books:

harry potter sorcerer's stone wrinkle in time The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

As a Christian attending a small-town church, I was given a lot of flak in my childhood for my love of the Harry Potter books, including accusations of devil-worship and promises of eternal damnation. I’m fortunate and blessed to have parents who saw the absurdity of this notion–and furthermore, encouraged my love of reading and never tried to prevent me from reading what I wanted to read.

Here’s to all you rebels out there! Stick it to the man. Keep reading what they tell you not to read.


Find Out More

ALA Banned & Challenged Books

ALA’s 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books


What are your favorite banned books?



  • Reply DannyBookworm September 23, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Coming from Germany, banning books feels very foreign to me. And Harry Potter, really! Those are such amazing books with so much heart, family and such amazing friendship in it! Kids were actually reading Harry Potter in english classes in High School in Germany!
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  • Reply Kelley (Another Novel Read) September 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home, with a mother who made my sister and I throw away our Unico video (cutest anime ever) because “unicorns are evil”, etc. When my sister and I got really into Harry Potter, we started going to the midnight release parties and everything. Each year for Christmas I would get her the audiobook for the latest HP book — but I had to give her the gift in secret, instead of letting her open it in front of the family like usual, because we couldn’t let our parents know about it! It was so ridiculous, because by that time we were both very much grown adults who could make our own choices about what media to consume. But after my mother threatened to burn my sister’s audio copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we started guarding our HP stuff much more carefully!

    It really makes me sad that people can be so closed-minded and almost willfully ignorant and obtuse about some things. Sigh!
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  • Reply Alise September 23, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Yeah, I really hate censorship. It just makes me so mad when all the violent TV is still allowed but some books aren’t. I say as long as you are reading, it does not matter at all. Harry Potter is a favorite series of mine as well!

  • Reply Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms September 23, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    I wasn’t as lucky as you in this department! My mom had originally prohibited me from reading or watching the Harry Potter movies. She was influenced by the church community and whatnot, so for a while, I wasn’t allowed to watch or read Harry Potter (that didn’t stop me, though!). Thankfully, at about the time when the Goblet of Fire movie was released, my mom changed her mind! She saw how much I loved reading and realised that she was being too harsh, since, after all, “it was only a book”. Now I’m in love with the series and the movies! She even took me to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for my 16th birthday!

    Great post!
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    • Samantha Claire
      Reply Samantha Claire September 23, 2013 at 6:58 PM

      Hi Marianne! Oh, that is awful! I know a lot of people who grew up in that predicament, too, and unfortunately, they usually never read the Harry Potter books out of fear… and sometimes worse–developed the same attitude toward them as adults.

      I’m so glad your mom changed her mind! (Isn’t the Wizarding World of Harry Potter wonderful? I’ve been twice so far, and it’s just… magical!)

      Thanks! :)
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  • Reply Christine @ Oh, Chrys! September 25, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    I had a similar experience to Kelley. I lived with my grandma for a little while, and she heard from her church sister that Harry Potter was a witchcraft book. She felt that it was a book that taught me spells, that could possess me. There was also this church that had bonfire of Harry Potter around the same time. The thing is, she never took the book away from me. She allowed me to read it, but she was scared. That’s just my grandma though. She doesn’t even like when the Walking Dead is on. Hahaha.
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    • Samantha Claire
      Reply Samantha Claire September 25, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      It looks like even though my church didn’t/doesn’t condone reading Harry Potter, I’m still very fortunate! My grandmother would actually call me to tell me when they mentioned Harry Potter on the news, and she’d save clippings for me when it was mentioned in the newspaper. :)

      As for The Walking Dead… I can’t say I blame your grandmother there. I’ve never seen it, but zombies… -shudder-
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