Friday, September 28, 2012

Celebrating Banned Book Week: 9/30-10/6!

Banned Books Week is the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read. The 2012 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held next week, from Sunday, September 30 through Saturday, October 6.

The official website is HERE:

Libraries and bookstores all across the country are planning to draw attention to the problem of censorship during this week with displays of challenged books, and by hosting events.

According to the website, "Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries."

More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982. That's not the number of challenges, that's the number of individual BOOKS. (I guess it's good that America is still reading...) According to numbers cited on the Banned Books website, the American Library Association logged 326 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2011. Even more go unreported.

Over the years, there have been many, many classics that have been challenged and banned, including Twain's Huckleberry Finn, Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, and Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby. I'm not even mentioning the ones I think *might* be controversial at all - but I don't think any books should be "banned." Recent books that have been targeted include all of the Harry Potter books as well as the Twilight saga. 

According to the website, the 10 most challenged titles of 2011 were:
  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  4. My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  8. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism
So... what are you going to read next week to celebrate? Go ahead... be a rebel... READ.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting challenges. I always find some of the books that make that list intriguing and then some of the choices puzzling.


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