Happy Banned Books Week, Chronic readers!
Yes, there is such a thing.
Every year, the American Library Association teams up with the Office for Intellectual Freedom to provide the public with a list of books that are frequently “challenged,” whatever that means.
Then, of course, they encourage the public to go out and read said “challenged” material in an effort to raise awareness of, and combat, intellectual censorship.
As I happen to be a big fan of access to information, I’m going to go ahead and perpetuate the reading of so-called “banned” material by posting the most current list. This way, we can all feel a little bit radical and delinquent together (because, really, has anyone not read the Hunger Games? Do we get a double dose of delinquency if we’ve seen the movies too?).
Without further ado, the List for 2013 (this year’s data is still being collected):
Out of 307 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom.
Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
Looking for Alaska, by John Green Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
Bone (series), by Jeff Smith Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence
Have you read any of these, Chronics? Do you find them “ban-able”?
You can see previous years’ lists at: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10#2013
Some Classic Banned Books include the following:
- The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
- The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
- To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
- The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
- Ulysses, by James Joyce
- Beloved, by Toni Morrison
- The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
- 1984, by George Orwell
- Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
This co-incidentally was also my high school English class required reading list.
Do you have a favorite Banned Book?
My favorite Banned Book is actually a series- the Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. This wonderful series is filled to the brim with thematic elements such as growing up, dating, family and friend relationships, and living in a Maryland suburb. I highly recommend it.
Have fun reading, Chronic friends, and don’t forget to leave a comment here or on my Facebook page letting me know what you think!