Saturday, September 29, 2012

Banned Books Week 2012

Tomorrow, September 30, marks the beginning of the 30th Banned Book Week. This week was started to bring attention to the thousands of books that are challenged every year in libraries across the country. I have never understood why people feel the need to do this. If you don't like a book, don't read it. If you don't want your children to read something, don't allow them. Why anyone feels they have the right to make those choices for other people and families boggles my mind.
So here we are, another year and there is another list. This is the most recent year they have numbers for. The Top 10 for 2011. (Note that these are challenged books, not necessarily actually banned books.You can find more lists here.) Look at the reasons for the challenges.
  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
Did you read the reasons? Do they make you want to beat your head against something? That's what they make me want to do. Things like "religious viewpoint". Why? Because it disagrees with yours? That "sexually explicit" reason gets tossed around an awful lot too. Last year it was one of the reasons The Hunger Games was challenged (which caused me to wonder if I had missed something or read a different version of the book than these people were). Pretty much all the reasons listed for The Hunger Games cause me to wonder why my version was clearly so different.

And every year that To Kill a Mockingbird is on this list it makes me want to weep.

Is there a favorite book of yours that is frequently challenged?


  1. Yeah it always throws me through a loop when I see "To Kill a Mockingbird" banned.

    So, this isn't banned but I had to laugh because someone on Goodreads or Amazon (don't remember) said they didn't like The Dragon's Tooth because of all the "occult elements." bahaha