Faculty and Staff’s Favorite Banned Books: Part 3

Elizabeth De Armond, Professor of Legal Research & Writing, wrote:

Although I wouldn’t say The Hunger Games was an all-time favorite, I thought it was a wonderful book – a top example of kid-lit – and was somewhat astonished to see that it was among the ten most banned books of last year.  It is a book to convert non-readers into readers, and to absorb even those of us who do not ordinarily read science fiction.  It has a clever main character who is female but not always stereotypically feminine, and themes of virtue and vice that surpass its dystopian setting.  Lots of action, vibrant detail, rich secondary characters. I hear it has been made into a movie, but as a rule I avoid movies made from books I liked!

Dan Saunders, Faculty Scholarship Marketing Coordinator, found a favorite on the list of banned books:

I was surprised to see The Lord of the Rings on the banned books list, and even more surprised to learn that “satanic content” was what led the citizens of Alamogordo, New Mexico to burn it in 2001. This is of course supremely ironic, given that J. R. R. Tolkien was a devout, lifelong Catholic who played an important role in fellow writer C. S. Lewis’s conversion from atheism to Christianity. Tolkien bristled at facile interpretations of The Lord of the Rings that reduced the story to the level of political or spiritual allegory. But it is plainly evident that the three novels portray what might be called a traditionalist Catholic worldview that is anything but satanic—with themes like the apocalyptic triumph of good over evil, the restoration of a lost king, the conservation of the earth, and the elevation of the weak. For these reasons and others—namely, all of the quests, battles, and unforgettable characters—The Lord of the Rings remains one of my favorite books period, let alone banned books.

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