One Writer’s Journey

September 13, 2013

Banned Book Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:43 am
Tags: ,

Did you know that Sept. 21 to the 27th is banned book week?   I hope you will celebrate by reading a banned book.  Which books have been banned?  Here is the American Library Association List for 2012 (the most recent year for which data was available when I wrote this post).  In 2012, there were 464 challenges reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom.  The top ten most challenged books for that year from most to least were:

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.  Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. 
  3. Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  4. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.  
  5. Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  6. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
  8. Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  9. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
  10. Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  11. Looking for Alaska, by John Green. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  12. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz.  Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  13. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  14. Beloved, by Toni Morrison. Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

I can’t say that I’ve read all of these books.  But I have read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Thirteen Reasons Why, And Tango Makes Three, The Kite Runner, and Looking for Alaska.  I’m not saying that every reading choice I make is brilliant but these books, one and all, were amazing.  Yes, some of them deal with harsh realities but there are kids dealing with harsh realities.

I’m not going to get up on a soapbox here, mostly because I can’t decide which one to favor, but I’d like to encourage you all to support the freedom to pick up a book that is sharp and potentially amazing.

–SueBE

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