Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Banning Happy Childhood Memories

I was a LUCKY kid - don't let those clothes fool you. Despite my Mrs. Beasley outfit, it was a happy, FREE childhood. You see, I grew up in the 80s.

I thought it was AWESOME when I got to play with Strawberry Shortcake, brush My Little Pony hair and cuddle my Cabbage Patch Doll.

I like totally destroyed my teeth on Now and Laters, Bottlecaps, Bit o Honey and Big Hunks.

Facts of Life, Family Ties and Dukes of Hazzard were killer, dude. A-Team, Fraggle Rock, Jetsons, Punky Brewster, Schoolhouse Rock...

My two favorite movies: Young Guns and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

I crimped my hair (except for my BIG bangs), wore my leg warmers and nothing came between me and my Calvin Kleins.

And the music? Totally bitchin'. Debbie Gibson (don't judge me), Tiffany, Go Gos, Hall and Oates, Michael Jackson...DURAN DURAN...Def Leppard, Bon Jovi. Radical. Tubular. Awesome.

We were lucky. So imagine my surprise when I was trying to decide on which Banned Book I would read to find...
Judy Blume on that list.

Omigod, NO WAY! Barf me out. Gag me with a spoon.

Blubber? Tiger Eyes? Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret? Forever?

And can that really be...Madeline L'Engle? A Wrinkle in Time?

These were staples of my childhood. These were joys. I read them more than once. I still have them - their pages worn, edges folded over where I stopped reading for the moment. They were totally awesome.

CHILL. Seriously. Stop telling people what they should or should not read. Let us read and take from them what we will. Don't rob children of the joys of reading - to feel like we aren't alone in this world, to be transported to another world through the magic of words. Why are you so threatened by a work of FICTION? What makes you so special that you think you have the right to decide which books someone can or can't read?

Here's a secret: ban it, protest it, burn it - and people will definitely read it. Especially the children you are trying to "protect." You made these books more attractive. Congratulations on achieving the exact opposite of your intent!

I really appreciate my childhood. I appreciate my parents - who weren't threatened by books, who encouraged me to read, who never denied me a book (including Go Ask Alice). Thanks Mom and Dad. I love you!

To see the list, click

Will you be joining us this week? What book will you be reading?

Are any of your childhood favorites on that list?


  1. Okay seriously, how cute were you? :)

    It broke my heart to see Judy Blume on that list. I have a bunch of old Judy Blume books and I am going to re-read them ALL this week!

  2. The 80's ruled! Good times, lots of happy memories. :)

    I had to laugh at some of the books on the list, just at the ridiculousness of it all. The Giver (Lois Lowry) and The Witches (Roald Dahl) are two of my favorite childhood books. I've read them so many times I've lost count. Might read The Witches again, it's been awhile...

    And really, R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series? I didn't realize that was ever challenged.

  3. I despise the practice of banning books.... so dumb.

    by the way my sister goes crazy over the mere mention of fraggle rock lol

  4. awesome walk down memory lane--thanks, honey! :D I think all my childhood favorites made the list, and I never knew til later... ;p

    Now scoot over to my blog. I left you something~

  5. You are adorable!!

    I wrote more the first time but blogger is seriously screwing up my comment flow.

    Anyway, You're so right. Ban a book and it will be read. I kinda hope one of my books gets challenged or banned one day. Immediate success please?

  6. Great post. Brought back memories.

    As I posted on Killer Chicks, Huck Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird are two of my favorites of all time.

    Oh, btw, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany are going to be in a Syfy movie together...how totally awesome is that?

  7. Those are all on my list too! I think pretty much any fantasy written probably has been contested or banned at some point lol.

    I agree with Colene- I almost hope mine get banned, and then everyone will read it!

  8. GREAT post. I <3 strawberry shortcake. My favorite show though was always Rainbow Brite.... one of these years maybe Ill be her for halloween!

  9. Thanks for the memories. I actually broke a tooth on a bit o honey as an ADULT! I guess I really missed those from my childhood. And Strawberry Shortcake, the Smurfs, and My Little Pony ruled. I felt like a rebel reading Judy Blume books, which attracted me even more to them.

  10. Wow. We grew up in the same world. I loved Judy Blume. They were "real"
    It used to be a lot harder to find.

  11. Jennifer - YAY for Judy Blume! Is it me that you found or my adorable clothes that my mother insisted on making me? :-)

    Liz - There are so many surprising books on that list. Huckleberry Finn? Catcher in the Rye? Of Mice and Men? I forgot about the Witches. Perhaps I will reread that as well!

    Teenage Bride - It truly is. Well said!

    Leigh - We can still consider ourselves "rebels" even though we didn't know the books were banned at the time, right? Thanks for the Award!

    Colene - I would consider it an honor if my book were banned! Won't it be cool to be on that list someday? Hop over to Killer Chicks (you can get there from Jennifer Hillier's blog) - they're having fun with the idea of your own book being banned.

    JB - That is TOTALLY awesome! I can hardly wait. I do love a good SyFy made for tv movie - the cheesy dialogue, the bad acting, the horrible special effects! Soooo much fun!

    Abby - I laughed when I saw Twilight on there for being "sexually explicit". Really? It was so chaste. They didn't consumate until they were married and it didn't go into ANY detail so how is that explicit?

    Melissa - I loved Rainbow Brite too. Oh, I think I might be her for Halloween this year. I would love multi-colored hair!

    Jennifer - I pulled a crown off with bit o honey! So irrestible until that happened!

    Jolene - I love that we all have fond memories of Judy Blume!

  12. Awww...you were SO cute!!! Workin' those pigtails. :)

    I was in middle and high school in the 80's...and it was FUN!!!! I worked my banana clip and AquaNet and shoulder pads. I was more into Depeche Mode, the Cure and the Smiths (and writing angsty bad poetry), and boys with cool hair...and Miami Vice for TV. (and Pop Rocks!)

    I read Are You There God (Blume) at least 20 times when I was in elem. school.

    Now my daughter is in high school (almost 15) and I let her read whatever she wants. She's read Speak and all the Ellen Hopkins books...and all the Sookie Stackhouse books. She's a straight A student, popular, and has yet to kiss a boy, do drugs...or even be late for a class.

    Fun post, Jennie. :)