Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ten Most Challenged Books of 2007

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

I'm always amazed by the fear people wield like a shield against the light of knowledge. Taken in a vacuum, a single piece of knowledge can certainly be harmful, but one of the beautiful truths of reading a book is you usually want to read another and another and another. And knowledge, my friends, is power. Power to choose hope instead of fear, love instead of hate, inclusion rather than exclusion. Every time I read a banned books list, I am roll-my-eyes amused by the omnipresence of Twain and Angelou. Nice to see Toni Morrison got bumped this year, though. READ. THINK. Question ANYone who wants to do your thinking and/or decision making FOR you.

The American Library Association received 420 challenges last year. A challenge is a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school asking that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.

1. “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-ethnic, sexism, homosexuality, anti-family, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
2. “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually explicit, offensive language, violence
3. “Olive’s Ocean” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually explicit and offensive language
4. “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious viewpoint
5. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
Reasons: Racism
6. “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language
7. “TTYL” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group
8. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually explicit
9. “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex education, sexually explicit ***NOTE*** There was no Wikipedia entry for this book, so I have substituted the author's page as the link.
10. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

Off the list this year are two books by author Toni Morrison, “The Bluest Eye” and “Beloved,” both previously challenged for sexual content and offensive language.

Source: The American Library Association

1 comment:

Joyce said...

I often think that the best books to read are those that others want to ban--the reason being that these books deal with subject matter that people want to sweep under the rug rather than deal with. If a book isn't speaking to the reader, he/she can always stop reading it. That should do away with any banning. When I see a pile of books being burned or destroyed, I know something important (and disastrous) is happening.