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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!

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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

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  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.

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

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  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. :)

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  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?

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