Towards the end of grad school, I had a professor who taught me about the history behind banned books. I found it so fascinating that I thought I’d make it a regular segment on here: Banned Books and why they were banned. Generally, when a book is found “inadequate for the masses” it is banned on reasons of “racial or gender issues”, “sex” “religion and politics” or to “protect the children”. Just to make it clear… I don’t believe that any book should be banned. I believe in the freedom to read whatever you want to read. But, my feelings in that direction do not affect this blog. Instead, this blog is a tool to tell you, our readers, about the surprising books that have at one time been banned and why.
Today’s banned book is: “The Lorax” by a favorite children’s author, Dr. Seuss.
As with other Dr. Seuss books, “The Lorax” is a children’s book that has a sing-songy rhyme scheme. So why in the world would it be banned? It was banned because the story revolves around a woodland creature named “The Lorax” who teaches children not to destroy the environment. This doesn’t sound too harmful right? Sounds like a more productive way of changing the attitudes and minds of the population without chaining yourself to a tree, or anything. But… no, Dr. Seuss was banned for just that reason. Under the “Protection of the Children” section of the reasons for banned books, The Lorax gives children a bad impression of the logging industry and therefore, must clearly be banned! (Shaking my head…) So, in 1989, it was. Obviously, it has turned around since then and had a movie out in theatres just this year.
So… my rhyme to complete this history lesson on ridiculous constraints of the print industry are:
Unless you want to sit in a corner, unless you want to fight, take out controversial stories about logging, fishing or hunting, and you have a shot of publishing, yes, you might!