Banned Books Week 2012!

It’s almost that time of year again! Banned Books Week this year will be celebrated September 30-October 6! I know two years ago I made a really big deal about it, but then last year it was like I totally forgot. Luckily, earlier this year I received some fan e-mail that reminded me that this project existed, so I decided to try again this year! Here’s the ALA’s list of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011, compiled from all the challenges reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom:

Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011
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

I’ve actually read all of these before except My Mom’s Having a Baby! by Dori Hillestad Butler, so I thought reading through them wouldn’t be much of a challenge. You might remember when I did this project two years ago, I used this collection of banned or challenged books from 2009-2010, which I liked because it included information about where the book was challenged. So I went looking for a more recent version for this year. Unfortunately, it’s probably still too early for the 2011-2012 version, so I went with the 2010-2011 edition to get this list.

Books Challenged in Public Libraries

The Notebook Girls: Four Friends, One Diary, Real Life
My Mom’s Having a Baby
The Awakening
The Koran
Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India
Pit Bulls and Tenacious Guard Dogs
We’ll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives by Paul Shaffer
Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology

I’ve bolded ones I’ve already read, although I’ll probably still do a post about them!! I’m excited to read some controversial literature because, in my experience, any book that gets people talking–positively or negatively–makes for an interesting read. As always, I’ll try to include more information about why it was challenged and what the outcome was as well as the juiciest part, which, if two years ago was any indication, will probably be disappointing to those of you led on by the false promises of “nudity”, “sexually explicit” ,and “pornographic”. Sorry.

And, if I have time, here’s the list of books challenged in school libraries from the same resource:

Books Challenged in School Libraries

(once again, I bolded the ones I’ve already read)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Flamingo Rising by Larry Baker
Forever in Blue, the Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
Betrayed by PC Cast and Kristin Cast
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barabara Ehrenreich
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Dead Man in Indian Creek by Mary Hahn
Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern
Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Stolen Children by Peg Kehret
Vegan Virgin Valentine by Carolyn Mackler
What’s Happening to my body? Book for boys: a growing-up guide for parents and sons by Lynda Madaras
Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa by Mark Mathabane
Shooting Star by Frederick McKissack
Writer’s Voice: Selected from Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir
Tweaked: A Crystal Meth Memoir by Patrick Moore
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Push by Sapphire
Twenty Boy Summer

The Heroin Diaries: A year in the life of a shattered rock star by Nikki Sixx
One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
Jubilee by Margaret Walker
Paint Me Like I Am: Teen Poems by WritersCorps
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Bone by Jeff Smith

9 responses to “Banned Books Week 2012!”

  1. Bova says:

    I can’t believe people are still challenging To Kill a Mockingbird. Get with the program, people!

    • pladd says:

      Yeah, it’s interesting to me that that book is often challenged for the very issues it was written to combat.

      Besides, disagreeing with a book is no reason to ban it–it’s an opportunity for discussion. The reason I read the whole Twilight series after all!

  2. Barb says:

    Huge thank you! Checking in was my distraction before I started to pull together the list for my lastest display—-Banned Books. Check is in the mail. B

  3. TheJamesFox says:

    I must have read the wrong ttyl book because the one I read had like zero offensive language and no sexually explicit content

    Feeling pretty cheated right now, ttyl

    • pladd says:

      If I remember correctly, they talked about sex more as the series went on. Should have stuck with it! If the chat-speak wasn’t giving you headaches lol

  4. Post C Son says:

    I wonder if groups of different ideological persuasions challenged “The Hunger Games” for being anti-ethnic/insensitive and being anti-family/satanic. If so, who are we to knock the consensus?

    • pladd says:

      We are the reading public who don’t have a problem with The Hunger Games! Disagreeing with a book may be a reason not to read it (though not for me), but it’s certainly not a reason to prevent other people from accessing it if they want. The library is for everyone, even people who disagree with you.

  5. mahima says:

    so how the hell did twilight not end up in this list??
    so it’s okay to permit that book in the school libraries but not these??
    For god’s sake!

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