In this world where the internet have made a little easier the freedom of speech, the word “banned” is almost merely symbolic, specially in many western societies. Many books have been banned in schools and libraries, but who can tame the web.

GEORGE  by Alex Gino (2015)

This book reminded me of a french movie I saw in the beginnings of 2000. Ma Vie en Rose is pretty much the same topic but as in a more mature and dramatic story of the subject of transgender from a child’s point of view.

George is a 4th grade girl who was born physically as a boy, but she identify herself as Melissa. Her best friend is the one that helps her to just be herself through the school play Charlotte’s Web. Melissa of course is described by her peers as a freak and has to endure the hard experience of bullying.

The book is intended for an audience from 9 to 13 years olds but I would suppose that would depend on the level of maturity the child has and how exposed is with this topic, like having LGBTT family members or parents’ friends.

There are mixed reviews. Many parents say that this subject of sexualtiy and gender can be confusing to a child that is not mature enough. Others in the other hands think is great for children to know about the difference that society has to offer.

Something that many parent denounce is the mention of the word “porn” by Melissa’s older brother stating “that’s what boys watch” and a scene in which Melissa is annoyed by the “wobbling thing in the middle of her legs”, insinuating her male private parts.

The book indeed is not about sexuality but about gender identification, in which Melissa does not even know if she likes boys or girls, she is more focused on how she feels.

Common sense media divides the reviews between parents and kids. To my surprise kids were more open minded in their reviews rather than grown ups. I think this new generarion is full of surprises.

check it out on The Book Depository

 

 

AND TANGO MAKES THREE by Peter Parnell (2015)

This is the story of Roy and Silo. Two penguins that formed a relationship in the Central Park Zoo and later tried to form a family.

Why is so controversial? They are both male penguins, and again is a children’s book. A true story narrated in a beautiful pictured kid’s books to explain children that families can be…yes…different.

Both penguin dislpayed mating behaviors eventually hatching a rock. Zookeepers observed this and replace the rock with an egg of a penguin couple that were unable to hatch and raise the offspring. Later, showing their great job, the egg is hatch adding a new member to the family, Tango a female penguin. 

The LGBTT subject is a controversial one so it can be extremely sensitive if directed to the children population (even in the animal kingdom)

Surprisingly enough it has high reviews in different online bookstores and blogs. A very good book to explain children the different families around us.

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check it out on The Book Depository

 

 

THE PEACEFUL PILL HANDBOOK by Philip Nitschke and Fiona Stewart (2016)

On another controversial topic, we have. assisted suicide and euthanasia. Although the book is intended for 50+ years old and terminally ill, the sensitivity of the subject is very obvious.

Written by two Australian doctors it enters the legal aspects of assisted suicide in many parts of the world. It also details different method of ending ones life, mostly with nembutal including in a DIY way…and this is where it gets dangerous.

The book was banned in New Zealand later rating it only for 18 years+ old. In Australia there was a Border Force and has seized copies of the book.

It has high reviews, many reading in a scientific and research point of view. Sadly there were awful reviews of people who had family members ending their lives after reading this book.

The fact that the book is so accessible makes it dangerous especially for the depressed youth, in my humble opinion.

check it out on The Book Depository

 

 

THE DA VINCI CODE by Dan Brown (2003)

One of the most famous best sellers of 21st century, Brown tells a story which mix action, murder, with biblical and art history. The book is fiction, but he fact that Jesus fathered a child with Mary Magdalene was shocking enough to the christian community.  I remembered the movie The Last Temptation of Christ where Jesus actually had sex with Mary Magdalene in a scene…another shock.

The story starts with a murder that involucrates the Opus Dei and the Priori of Sion. Jaques Sauniereis, the Louvre curator, was found murder in this same museum. He manages in his agony to expose a secret that leads to the real Holy Grail. Robert Langdon, a Harvard profesor of symbolism and the cryptographer Sophie Neveu, who’s also Sauniereis’ grandaughter will be in charge of this thrilling decodification.

Developing several mysteries that combines actual history facts in art and biblic themes the story evolves to the “discovery” that the descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene are walking  in earth right now.

The book was banned in Lebanon and in India. Was very critizice by the Catholic church for blasphemy and many historians had alleged that the historic facts are not entirely real. Many controversies in just one book.

Three years later the novel was made into a film, with the same name, starring Tom Hanks. Reviews were not so great like that of the novel. Despite great actors performance sadly this usually happens in films adapted from books.

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check it out on The Book Depository

  1. It’s hard to believe that there are all these books that threaten the existence of such large instutions and societal ideals. The books are great food for thought, and those who are solid in their beliefs should be able to consider alternate ideas and have a solid discussion about the concepts. Willfully ignoring a challenging idea does not seem to be an indicator of strong faith. 

    In todays modern world, what do you think is the most taboo subject matter? Are there free societies that still try to squash certain stories from being told?

    • Definetevly. There are mideastern societies where woman are not allowed to go to school. Racism and misogonist although is not a taboo, still there…these leadinging to censor. Through social media certain taboos are managing to be expressed. One example is sexual abuse. In earlier days that was not a common topic discussed and now how many grown people have manage to tell the abuse they went through. These people with their testimonies are breaking these taboos allowing youths to speak before is too late. This is just one examples. Maybe goverments around the world manage to manipulate through media certain things and promote censorship in many things. 

      But in today’s days, as I said in my post, social media and the web is making hard to censor many things.

      Thank you for your comment it means a lot to me

      Blessings

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