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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Banned Books Week Readout: Northern Lights

So, here it is! As usual, my lips don't synch. I think YouTube doesn't much like .mov format. I do have it in Quicktime but it's hundreds of megabytes and I don't know how it will work out anyway, so maybe later.

Here's the link:

Alas, I couldn't get much interest in this year's Banned Books Week from the kids. Little Priyanka expressed interest, and I may be able to get Minh to have a go,  possibly a couple of others,but generally, things have gone downhill since my original Book Clubbers went off to Senior campus. It's just not the same any more. I may have to wait and see who turns up next year.

Still - let's see how it goes when I show this to them. And later, I may just read from Lord Of The Rings, even if the week is over. That's another favourite that seems to end up on the Banned Books list. Would you believe that there are objections to the religion? I mean, that it's against religion? We're talking J.R.R Tolkien here, a devout Catholic who wound his faith into his novel. I can understand them saying that about Phillip Pullman's books (though there's a rather interesting online discussion between him and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who likes the series), but Tolkien? The poor man would be shocked! Oh, and there are objections to the fact that young readers are exposed to characters smoking. Well, yes, but really, I can't see kids getting stuck into pipe smoking just because Bilbo does it! And there's a scene where the supremely sexy Legolas tells the rest of the Fellowship that he really doesn't get this smoking thing and how they could possibly waste their time on it.

What I love about it is the fact that in Tolkien, ordinary people can be heroes and save the world. And interestingly, Father Bob Maguire said the same thing on Twitter the other day. Nice to know that I'm not the only one who thinks that.

Do check out my reading, try to ignore the dubbing glitch and see what you think. Let me know!

And just so you know, I will not be publishing any rude comments by people who are against Banned Books Week, like that man last year. Some people seriously need to get a life.


Sean Wright said...

It's the fundamentalist evangelicals. They don't recognize Catholics as real Christians, and anything that has magic in it is evil. Pretty sure they'd be up in arms over Narnia without realizing the Christ allegory

Sue Bursztynski said...

Which may be why kids tell me they're Christians and look puzzled when I ask what brand. :) Well, as I recall, Tolkien had no problem with Jews, but was not fond of Protestants.

Frankly, I can't see how anyone over the age of about twelve could possibly miss the allegory in Aslan, but there you are. I'm not a fan of Narnia for my own reasons, but would do a virtual readout if I thought someone was having a go at Lewis's books, trying to ban them. There are still kids reading them in my school library and we have plenty of Muslims and Buddhists, so they just like them.

But I prefer Tolkien, so he's next. :)

Austin said...


I thought you read that splendidly and really managed to communicate Lyra's character and spirit.

Lyra is one of my absolute favourite fictional child heroines and Philip Pullman among my favourite authors.

No book should ever be banned. But who was it who said, "I hope my book gets banned. It does wonders for the sales figures!"



Sue Bursztynski said...

Aw, thanks, Austin! Yes, I love Lyra too. And I loved this trilogy.

I think someone said the other day that banned books often don't get the publicity people think they do. Most of them are just quietly removed from library shelves and such.

What's REALLY bad is when a book is put on the school syllabus. It sells lots of copies for a while, yes, but kids hate your book when they have to read it for school. There are many American readers out there who loathe Catcher In The Rye, which was banned at one time and a symbol of rebellion, because they had to read it for English.