Banned Books Literature Circles
Banned Books Literature Circles

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Banned Books Literature Circles - Description

Book Options Enders Game by Orson Scott Card Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Teachers Note If you have already read one of these selections choose one of the other two Do ID: 541835 Download Presentation

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Banned Books Literature Circles

Book Options:Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain***Teacher’s Note: If you have already read one of these selections, choose one of the other two. Do NOT re-read it for your lit circle. The whole point of the lit circles is to expose you to books you may not otherwise have had the opportunity to read.***Slide2

Ender’s Game

A book for sci-fi and fantasy fiction fans.By: Orson Scott CardSlide3

The Author

”Ender’s Game (Card) Bio.” LitLovers © 2015.Orson Scott Card is a devout Mormon.Card believes in imparting moral lessons through his fiction, a stance that sometimes creates controversy on both sides of the fence. Some

Mormons have objected to the violence in his books as being against the Mormon message, while his conservative political activism has gotten him into hot water with liberal readers.Card tries to keep his personal political opinions out of his fiction. He tries to present the governments of futuristic Earth as realistically as possible without drawing direct analogies to our current political climate. This distance that Card maintains between the real world and his fictional worlds helps give his novels a lasting and universal appeal

.Card has won numerous awards, including four Hugo Awards.Slide4

The main reasons cited include profanity, sexuality, and the promotion of “anti-adult” attiitudes. But… there's no sexuality in the book, unless somebody thinks that showering naked is "sexual.”As for profanity, the N word was used in a scene where Ender was making an ANTI-racist point to a racist

character. Card rewrote the scene to eliminate the word. The original reason Ender was banned was because it cultivated 'anti-adult attitudes.’ “The reason Ender's Game was first banned is because it was placed on a ‘hit list’ of ‘evil books’… many years ago, and it was placed on that list for no other reason than that I'm a Mormon, and therefore no children should be reading a book by me.” -- Orson Scott CardNowadays, most efforts to boycott or ban Card’s books stem

from the fact that the Mormon Church openly opposes gay marriage and continues to regard voluntary homosexual behavior as sinful, and Card has openly defended his Church's position.

Why was it banned?

Copyright © 2015


River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.Slide5

Ender’s Game

Meet 6-year-old Ender Wiggin. He's monitored by the government at all times to see if he is brilliant enough to attend Battle School at a space station. His story begins as he is tormented by his peers and his big brother, and he’s had enough. He takes action and resolves the problem. The government sees his problem solving skills and decides it needs to train him to become a war leader.Problem? He has to decide whether to leave his family and his planet at age 6 in order to train to battle an alien race, who, society believes will return to attack the Earth. If he goes, he has to survive Battle School and grow up in an environment that was never intended for children.

And so the fate of the entire planet rests on the shoulders of a young boy. Slide6

Ender Wiggin

6-year-old boy growing up on future EarthBrilliant: can effectively solve any problem…but tormented by his peers and older brother because of his brillianceMonitored and essentially raised by the government Attends a harsh Battle School, where he grows up isolated in an environment without any adult mentorsAngry – adults are menacing obstacles, not safe harbors as they are meant to beStruggles to figure out how to be the gentle and kind person he wants to be despite his harsh circumstances and surroundingsWants to winSlide7

Big Ideas

Is manipulation ever okay?What is the role of leadership or authority? Can we always trust it?Ender kills while trying to defend himself. How far is it okay to go in order to protect oneself from a threat?Conflicts arise because of lack of communication and understanding. Why is mankind still content to enter into conflict without attempting to fully understand their “enemy”?What is the distinction between childhood and adulthood?"The Catcher in the Rye Study Questions and Essay Topics." SparkNotes.

SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.Slide8

Ender Quotes

“If you try and lose then it isn't your fault. But if you don't try and we lose, then it's all your fault.” “In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them.... I destroy them.” “Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.” “Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf.” Slide9


Yes! Suit up and defeat the Buggers!If you like action, adventure, battle scenes, alien wars, and/or the sci-fi/fantasy fiction genre in general, this is a book you will enjoy. It’s nice because there’s a healthy dose of universal wisdom and philosophy dropped in as well – though in an easily accessible way.This book falls into the “brain candy” department – it’s another fun, YA fiction read. Decide NOT to attend Battle School and try a different read.

If you dislike sci-fi and are looking for something more grounded in reality, you’ll probably prefer one of the other selections. If you consider yourself a strong reader, I would urge you to read one of the other novels – they will be less like other books you have read, and therefore you will have new worlds opened to you.

Almost everyone I know who has read this book has enjoyed it. Slide10

Catcher in the Rye

A book you’ll either love to love, or love to hate.

By: J.D. SalingerSlide11

J.D. Salinger was drafted to fight in World War II. While fighting overseas, Salinger began to write The Catcher in the Rye which was finally published in 1951.Salinger did not escape the war without some trauma, and was hospitalized after a nervous breakdown. Two years after the publication of Catcher, J.D. Salinger

left New York City and retreated to a secluded farm in New Hampshire. Salinger did his best to cut-off contact with the public.

The Author

"J.D. Salinger."


. A&E Television Networks,


. Web.


The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most controversial books ever written, but it is still taught in many English classes all around the United States, and is still loved by many teenagers and adults for its rebellious characteristics. It was banned for its profanity, sexual content, and violence by many schools from the 60’s to the present. Conspiracy theories about the book “brainwashing” people abound because the men who assassinated John Lennon and JFK, and the man who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan all owned copies of the book. No evidence has been found to suggest any truth to those theories.

Many schools have reinstated the book, recognizing its literary importance. 35 Million copies were sold in total, and a quarter of a million copies are sold every year (“Year in books: J.D. Salinger by the numbers.”).

Why was it banned?


. "Who Banned Catcher in the Rye and Why?"

Who Banned Catcher in the Rye and Why?

Teen Ink,


Web. 01 Mar. 2015.Slide13

Catcher in the Rye

Meet 17-year-old Holden Caulfield. He's got a lot of attitude and lot of dated profanity, and he wants to tell us all about "this madman stuff" that happened to him "around last Christmas." His story begins on a December Saturday at Pencey Prep School in Pennsylvania, where he's just been kicked out for failing all his classes except English. Problem? He can't go home for a few more days (until Christmas break starts), because he doesn't want his parents to know that he's been expelled again. So, instead, he decides to spend the next few days gallivanting around

Manhattan, soul searching, eventually deciding to run away.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Catcher in the Rye Plot Analysis." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.Slide14

Holden Caulfield

17-year-old rich white kid who lives in New York CityConstantly expelled from schoolWears weird red hunting cap -- ALL THE TIME.Is depressed and angry Hates people and things he deems “phony” or fake (almost everyone and everything he encounters)Idealistic – struggles to reconcile his view of the way the world SHOULD be with its harsh realitiesStruggles to figure out who he is and where his place is in the worldWants to protect innocence and goodness, particularly that of his little sisterSlide15

Big Ideas

Holden perceives childhood and adulthood as two separate realms. Are they truly separate? Where does Holden fit in? Where do you fit in?Is it possible to fully separate our individual identity from our culture, peers, and family? Is it even desirable to do so?Holden has an unhealthy obsession with phoniness and wickedness, which leads him to make questionable decisions. How will this affect his psyche?How does one deal with the “phoniness” and wickedness in the world?Is it possible for anyone to be truly genuine and never commit a hypocritical act?

"The Catcher in the Rye Study Questions and Essay Topics." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d.

Web. 05 Mar. 2015.Slide16

Catcher Quotes

“All morons hate it when you call them a moron.” “Grand. There's a word I really hate. It's a phony. I could puke every time I hear it.” “It was that kind of a crazy afternoon, terrifically cold, and no sun out or anything, and you felt like you were disappearing every time you crossed a road.” “I think that one of these days," he said, "you're going to have to find out where you want to go. And then you've got to start going there. But immediately. You can't afford to lose a minute. Not you.” Slide17


Yes! Come along for the ride!If you relate to Holden’s rage toward hypocrisy and quest to find his identity and place in the world, you will probably like this book. Catcher in the Rye is a “coming of age” novel, all about the protagonist’s journey from adolescence to adulthood, and the questions and struggles that naturally arise from that transition.Holden is angry with the world and expresses his anger in a unique way, known as “stream of conscious” narration. He uses plenty of foul language and 50’s slang along the way.…maybe you should fly off and find a different book.

If you think Holden sounds annoying, you will probably not like this book. The narration style reads like you are having a conversation with this kid. He may just come across as a whiny jerk to you. If so, it could be a long

ride of you wanting to punch him in the face. If you lack patience for other people’s “issues,” you may want to steer clear so you don’t have to deal with Holden’s.

People generally either love this book or loathe it, & it almost always boils down to how they feel about Holden Caulfield. Slide18

The Adventures of

Huckleberry Finn

Mischief, mayhem, and wit: with a moral conundrum.

By: Mark TwainSlide19

Born on November 30, 1835, in Missouri, Samuel L. Clemens wrote under the pen name Mark Twain and went on to pen several novels, essays, short stories, and travelogues. He was also a riverboat pilot, journalist, lecturer, entrepreneur, gold prospector, and inventor. Mark Twain explored the American soul with wit, buoyancy, and a sharp eye for truth. He became nothing less than a national treasure.He honed a distinctive narrative style—friendly, funny, irreverent, often satirical and always eager to deflate the pretentious

."All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn," Ernest Hemingway wrote in 1935. Hemingway's comment refers specifically to the colloquial language of Twain's masterpiece, as for perhaps the first time in America, the vivid, raw, not-so-respectable voice of the common folk was used to create great literature.At 34, this handsome, red-haired, affable, canny, egocentric and ambitious journalist and traveler had become one of the most popular and famous writers in America.

”Mark Twain." Bio

. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 05



An adventurer and wily intellectual…”Slide20

The main criticism is Twain's treatment of the theme of race and his use of racial slurs in reference to African Americans, Native Americans, and poor white Americans, especially the novel's portrayal of Jim (a slave) and its repeated use of the N-word. The thing to keep in mind is that the novel is written in the vernacular of its historical setting and the time period in which it was written.

It was published in 1885, just 20 years after the Civil War – which Twain lived through. As a boy, Twain once saw a slave beaten to death by his owner. People today find this language offensive and some people even believe the novel condones or promotes racism. Most consider Twain's satire to be a powerful attack AGAINST racism. Especially since the main point of the novel is that racism, and slavery in particular, is amoral and nonsensical.

Why was it banned?












Despite being a work of fiction, this piece of literature captures an aspect of American history many would prefer to “whitewash.” Can deleting important lessons from


history just because it’s uncomfortable be beneficial


Huckleberry Finn

Meet 13-14- year-old Huck Finn. He's the scraggly, mischievous, hilarious, uncivilized son of an abusive, back country alcoholic. His story begins after he fakes his own death in order to escape his father’s clutches. On his way out of town, he runs into a slave he knows, Jim, who has run away from his owner. The two go on the run together, on a raft down the Mississippi River. And many, many adventures ensue. They have to keep Jim from being caught and taken back into slavery. They almost drown. They run into criminals, feuding families, con-artists, and more.

Will Jim make it to freedom? Will Huck find his place in the world?Slide22

Huck Finn

13 or possibly 14 year-old boy from small town Missouri Huck faked his own death to get away from his abusive alcoholic dad and ran away down the river with Jim. He’s uncivilized. For a while he lived with a widow in town who took him in, sent him to school, dressed him nicely and tried to teach him proper ettiquite. He hated it. The freedom out on the river is much more to his liking.He’s mischievous and funny – he plays jokes on people and always finds trouble. Or at least, trouble always finds him. He may only have received minimal education, but Huck is incredibly intelligent, resourceful, and quick-witted. He struggles to understand “civilized” people. For example, as he gets to know Jim, he doesn’t get why slavery is accepted as a morally right concept. Slide23

Big Ideas

Is there any real way to escape our problems and/or the evils in the world?Are there “good” lies and “bad” lies? What is the difference? Are both “wrong”? Why does so much lying go on in Huckleberry Finn?Where do moral values come from? Does Twain uphold or mock where those values come from?What is the importance of family? What is their place in society? Do Huck and Jim constitute a family?

Why might Twain have decided to set the novel in a time before the abolition of slavery, despite the fact that he published it in 1885, two decades after the end of the Civil War?Why would Twain choose a child and a slave – two rather helpless characters – as his protagonists?

"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Study Questions and Essay Topics."






Web. 05 Mar. 2015.Slide24

Huck Finn Quotes

“There warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.” “It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them.”“The average man don’t like trouble and danger.”“I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: ‘All right then, I’ll go to hell.’”

“Just because you’re taught that something’s right and everybody believes it’s right, it don’t make it right.”Slide25


Yes! Get on board the raft!You want to experience the best protagonist literature has to offer. (In Mrs. Barber’s opinion.)You’re interested in the history of the1800s. You love adventure, humor, and pointing out hypocritical flaws in society.You read well, you enjoy reading, and you want to challenge yourself with something different.You may not be ready for this book yet… but you should read it eventually, because it’s


If you struggle with reading, I recommend you wait to read this novel until you further build your skills. There’s nothing in the story you can’t handle, but the dialect Twain wrote the story in is tough to get used to. If you will be offended by the use of the N-word, you might pass on this. It’s used a LOT.

The condescending way white characters speak to black characters is also very hard to read in places. I had to keep reminding myself:

1. The point of the novel is to highlight the injustice of racism and slavery, and

2. In the time period in which the novel was written, this would have been commonplace. It’s important to learn from history.

Amazing story, but the prevalence of the N-word is jarring and the dialect is tough to get used to. Slide26

What am I getting into here?

Length: 324 pagesDifficulty Level: Easy (YA Brain Candy)Offensive?: It’s not***This is the tame option. The other selections are two of the most frequently banned and controversial books in the United States.***

Length: 214 pagesDifficulty Level: Med.

(Author’s style, symbolism, depth)Offensive? Lots of f-bombs and other curse words, mild sexual language




Difficulty Level: Hard

(Dialect, historical context)


Prevalence of N-word and patronization toward black characters is rough to read. One has to keep in mind the overall message of the book as well as the time period it was written.

***Signed permission slips will be required to read





Factors to consider when making your book selection: Have I read this book before? If so, choose another book offering.Choose a book that will challenge you and pull you up out of your comfort zone some. This is how we grow as readers. Young Adult fiction is a great genre, but it shouldn’t be all you read. Am I mature enough to handle the content?

Are my parents okay with me reading this novel?About how long does it take me to read 10 pages of a book?