Happy Banned Book Week 2013!

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association
Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

If something is controversial, then it’s often worth reading. At least that’s my philosophy.

Banned Book Week happens near the end of September each year. Its purpose is to inform the public about the censorship that happens in libraries and schools. The books on the list are frequently challenged, and many are banned in various schools and libraries.

Here are the 10 most frequently banned books of 2012:

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

It’s been a while since I’ve looked at a frequently challenged book list and realized that I’ve hardly read any of the books on it! Maybe I’m just getting old?

Fifty Shades of Grey is the only book on this list that I’m certain I’ve read. I feel like I might have read a Captain Underpants book at some point in elementary school, but I could be wrong on that.

Of the remaining books, The Glass Castle, Looking for Alaska, and The Kite Runner have been on my to-read list for some time. And Tango Makes Three might be worth a read too; since it’s a children’s picture book, it won’t take long to look through.

What’s your favorite book off of the 2013 Banned Book List?

Other Banned Book Week Posts:

Happy Banned Book Week 2011!

 

If a book is controversial, it’s often worth reading. That’s one of the reasons why I love Banned Book Week.

So, without further ado, I give you:

The Top 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2010

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  3. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, and sexually explicit
  4. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  6. Lush, by Natasha Friend
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  8. Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich
    Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, and religious viewpoint
  9. Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie
    Reasons:  homosexuality and sexually explicit
  10. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
    Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence

Of these books, I’ve read Brave New World, The Hunger Games, Nickel and Dimed, and Twilight.

Brave New World and Nickel and Dimed were required reading for school. The former was required for honors English in high school, and the latter for Intro to Sociology in college.

I don’t recall either book being inappropriate. My 15-year-old self thought that Brave New World paled in comparison to 1984 and was disappointed, but not scarred for life or anything. (On the other hand, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, another book required for that class, scarred me for life. I almost died of boredom reading that thing! I never voluntarily picked up a Hemingway novel after that…)

I enjoyed Nickel and Dimed and finished it a couple of weeks before everyone else started the book. What can I say? I was looking for something to read and it caught my interest.

And of course you know my thoughts on Twilight and the Hunger Games.

What’s your favorite banned book?

Click here to read last year’s post for Banned Book Week.