Only prize winners here. For a book to incite an act of such utter stupidity, futility, and desperation, well, it’s akin to winning a twisted alternative universe Pulitzer or Booker. This is a rarefied space.

Many are banned, few are burned. An act that seemed to go out of style for a while is back in force, however. Groups aligned with some parents, religious groups, political extremists seek regression for comfort and in doing so achieve the very opposite of what they ostensibly set to do. Burned and banned books go from relative hibernation to overnight best sellers.


Here are a few we like. May your fingers be ever so sooty.

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the cover of the graphic novel Maus

The Complete Maus

Written and illustrated by Art Spiegelman

I love this book. Actually classified as a graphic novel, it was published in 1986 to critical and popular acclaim. It won the first Pulitzer for a graphic novel, and richly deserved. I can’t find any instances of it taking the torch until recently. Very depressing that we seem to have entered the 21st century and taken a step back.

The reasons for the ire of the afflicted few are so trivial, it’s laughable. However, it is a reminder of capacity we have for extreme reactions and, horribly, the unconscionable cruelty “normal” human beings can inflict when a herd mentality seizes hold.

Many know this classic work and have an edition. But I have several copies in places where I frequent so I can be reminded of everything this book offers.


Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress

Written by Christine Baldacchino, Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant

Morris Micklewhite loves to dress in an orange dress at school. He is teased by the other kids and sits alone at the snack table. He has to play alone and builds a spaceship, which he decorates with his own painting. The boys of the schoolyard warm to him, but the girls are reluctant to accept him. Not sure what the author is trying to say, but funny to me.

The kids mock him because he is breaking social norms – boys are not supposed to wear dresses. That’s all they really know. Some adults are worried that their boys will get ideas and wear dresses as adults and the world will stop spinning.

Simply illustrated, two dimensional but suited for the story.

This book, along with others, was burned by a pastor in Iowa. It was also challenged as “not just talking about accepting another viewpoint, but promoting another life”.