Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Banned Book Week

So we're halfway through Banned Book Week and I haven't even mentioned it once.  Hmmm, I must be slacking on my game (a lot) lately. 

As an avid reader, this is a subject that's close to my heart.  I remember being appalled the first time I learned that people in towns across America still actually held book burnings.  I couldn't believe that people still felt the need to burn a book.  But evidently they do and so, an idea was born.  Since that time I have periodically (no pun intended) tried to add to the collection of books in my personal library at least a few books that have banned.  They don't need to be current books, in fact most of the books I have acquired have been what I would consider classic.  Think Dickens, Twain, Caldwell or Steinbeck.  At one time I started a list but it got so big that I kind of gave up on it (for now.)

The thing I figured out is that most books that have been banned aren't "bad" books, they are simply books that make some people uncomfortable.  The problem is that just because someone is made uncomfortable by something, it doesn't mean that the something is the problem.  So, I will continue to peruse the list of banned books in search of new reading material.  Or in search of old reading material that I just don't have on my shelf. 

I've put the list of 2011's ten most challenged titles below...two things should be noted: 

1.)  Brave New World should be required reading for every citizen of the US today and
2.)  Within the last six months, my child has read #3 (the trilogy) and #10.  I'm probably a bad mother, but I'm okay with that.

  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