Books are banned, challenged and complained about for various reasons. Some language, themes or storylines in books can prompt calls for the book to be censored or taken off the shelf.
Each year the American Library Assiciation (ALA) recognises Banned Books Week, raising awareness of censorship and celebrating the freedom to read whatever one chooses. At the end of September a list of the most frequently challenged books for the previous year is released for discussion (and so you can read them and make your own judgement).
Here’s the list for 2012:
1. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey
2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
4. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
5. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
7. Looking for Alaska by John Green
8. Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz
9. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
10. Beloved by Toni Morrison
Want to know more? Read up on why these books were banned, find out more about Banned Books Week in general, or see our previous posts on the topic.
How do you feel about the books on the list? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
There’s a certain thrill to reading a book that you know has been banned in a particular school, library, or in some cases entire country. This is recognised each year by the American Library Association during Banned Books Week at the end of September, aiming to celebrate the freedom of reading and challenge book censorship.
Books are restricted, banned or complained about for various reasons – bad language, mature content and violence being the main ones. During Banned Books Week the ALA releases the previous year’s list of the most challenged titles. Here are some that appeared on the 2011 list.
Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Betrayed by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Click any title to place a hold and see what all the fuss is about.
On a more local note, earlier this year a literary historian discovered thousands of banned books buried within the National Archives of Australia building in Sydney. There were 793 boxes of them and they’d been banned for various reasons between the 1920s and 1980s! Read the article here.
The American Library Association‘s Banned Books Week is held in the last week of September each year.
Their aim is to “highlight the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.”
The ALA website gives lists of the most commonly challenged books, arranged by year.
Here’s the list for 2009. If you want to know the reasons for the complaints made about these titles, visit the website.
1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series) by Lauren Myracle
2. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. Twilight; New Moon; Eclipse; Breaking Dawn (series) by Stephenie Meyer
6. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
7. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
10. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
What do you think about the list?