Sep 27, 2008

Banned Books Week 9/27 - 10/4



If you haven't yet heard today is the start of "Banned Books Week"!

This is a fantastic
time to discuss the first amendment with your children.

"BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met."
quoted from here.

The American Library Association has a lot of information on this annual tradition including the top banned and/or challenged books in 2007. I was very suprised when I read this list:

The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2007” reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:

1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/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

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 challenged for sexual content and offensive language.

The most frequently challenged authors of 2007

1) Robert Cormier
2) Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
3) Mark Twain
4) Toni Morrison
5) Philip Pullman
6) Kevin Henkes
7) Lois Lowry
8) Chris Crutcher
9) Lauren Myracle
10) Joann Sfar


Ironically before I even saw this list we had planned to read books by 6 out of 10 of these authors and 2 of the books on the most frequently challenged list. I guess this just goes to shows how we tend to lean in the nonconformist realm naturally!!

Does your family have any favorites from this or previously banned/challenged lists? If so please share with us your choices!


All italiced items on this page were clipped from the American Library Association Website at www.ala.org. Specifically from this page and this page.


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