Skip to main content

Banned Books Week 2010

It's that time of year again. Banned Books Week is upon us. This is one of my favorite and least favorite weeks of the year, because it reminds me of the importance of our freedom to read what we want in this country and it reminds me that a small, but vocal group of people who would like to take that freedom away. Makes me downright crabby is what it does. Here is the ALA's list of the top ten most challenged books of 2009:

   ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
   Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, drugs,
   and unsuited to age group


   And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality


   The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
   Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually
   explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group


   To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: racism, offensive language, unsuited to age group





 Twilight (series), by Stephanie Meyer
 Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group



  Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
   Reasons: sexaully explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group



  
                   
  My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
   Reasons: sexism, homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group, drugs, suicide, violence


     
  The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things
, by Carolyn  Mackler
   Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group



      
   The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
   Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group



                             
   The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
   Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group



Happily, I've read just over half of them. I'd like to read more. I'll be doing my special Banned Books Edition of Retro Friday this week and, in the meantime, why don't you check out this map and see which books are being challenged in your state and what you can do about it. And here is my favorite post on the subject so far this week, from Greenwillow editor Martha Mihalick.

Last of all--two of my favorite quotes on censorship, by men who would know. Chris Crutcher had this to say to the question, "What would you like youth to know about books that have been challenged or banned?":
That they aren't really banned. They can get them at the library or the bookstore or Amazon.com. This is America.
And Stephen King:
Speaking personally, you can have my gun, but you'll take my book when you pry my cold, dead fingers off of the binding.
As my six-year-old boy would say, "Haroo-ya!"

Comments

  1. Some of the banned books are just absurd...Twilight is sexually explicit? Now, I dislike the series, but I thought I preached abstinence...colour me crazy. So strange!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like that quote too.. "they aren't really banned"... it's very comforting.

    The banner up there is pretty. All in red. I like that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've read 7 of them. YAY! Also, Stephen King, how I want to make out with you for that statement even though he's old. Le sigh.

    Seriously, I would trade a gun for some books.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Those are great quotes.

    And I'm always surprised by some of the books that get banned - they'd probably fade into obscurity if people didn't insist on challenging them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. To Kill A Mockingbird and The Perks of Being A Wallflower are two of my all time favorite books!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Twilight is sexually explicit and has a religious viewpoint? Did they read the book? They must be thinking of a different Twilight. That's the only way that makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, I LOVE the Stephen King quote. Mind if I borrow it?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Melissa, lol. I thought so, too.

    Janice, it is comforting, isn't it? Made me happy.

    April, well done you! And I know how you feel re: King and that comment. So great.

    Livi, yeah, it's amazing how long some of them have consistently made the top ten.

    Caitlin, oh yeah. CATCHER is one of mine a well.

    Tiah, truly. I honestly don't think many of the challengers actually read the books at all. Losers.

    Melissa, borrow away! It is awesome and it should be shared. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. It makes me so sad that To Kill a Mockingbird is so consistently challenged. It is a classic example of a book being looked at in tiny, fragmented pieces rather than as a beatiful whole.

    And I must say, if my 10th grade students can understand why Lee does what she does and why she uses the language she does, then why can't the adults challenging the novel?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

Angie’s Best Books of the Decade

I am winded, you guys. Winded from laboring over this list. This is the first time I've attempted to cobble together a Best Books of the Decade list, and I can't say I'll be up to it for another ten years or so. But my, I couldn't resist the challenge (or profound pleasure, if we're being honest). I kept trying to winnow it down, kept forcing myself to be ruthless. Like somehow I could (or should) keep it to a top ten (flat impossible) or at least a top twenty-five (who are we kidding?). But after bidding those constraints good riddance, I really did press myself to take a hard, clear look at what hurts (to mangle my favorite Hemingway quote). Because these novels hurt in the best way. Each entry on this list is a five-star book in my books. Which means I wouldn't change a single thing about a single one of them. They are the ones I call perfect when I recommend them to friends and strangers. They are the ones I have read and reread over the past ten years and…

Angie's Best Books of 2019

It is the last day of the year. How are you doing at this point? You good to go on? I'm going to. For a number of important reasons, which are too varied (or possibly too private) to enumerate here. So how about we say we shall go on because: "Gansey. That's all there is." I find that "Because Gansey" is highly motivating when motivation is thin on the ground.

Also thin on the ground have been my posts this year. And yet, I'm still not stopping. And I still greatly enjoy arriving at this final post of the year. And so here I leave my best books of the year. It wound up being a respectable nineteen titles this year. Nineteen for 2019. That's down a fair bit from last year's whopping twenty-eight, but rather on par with previous years' lists and more than 2016 and 2017, respectively. I'm pleased. I'm pleased with every book on this list, with every one of the books you shared with me and the ones I've been able to share with you. …

Angie's 2020 Must Be Mine List

Tomorrow is always fresh. With no mistakes in it.  And here is the list of upcoming titles that I can hardly wait to read. Behold, my most anticipated novels of 2020:






 And no covers for these ones yet, but I've got my eye on them just the same:
Two Rogues Make a Rightby Cat Sebastian
Second First Impressionsby Sally Thorne