Banned Books Week 2012

By Mark Edwards

Have you ever wanted to do something just because someone told you that it was not allowed?  Well now it is your time to read a book that is currently on the banned book list.  (See below).     Banned Books Week celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

The purpose of the event is to celebrate the freedom of information and expression of ideas.  Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community – librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types – in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

The movement was started 30 years ago by the American Libraries Association (hereinafter “ALA”) in response to a closely divided Supreme Court in which it was held that the First Amendment limits the power of local school boards to remove library books from junior high schools and high schools. (457 U.S. 853).  The ALA provides a timeline of the movement – Click here.

The Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011 include the following titles; each title is followed by the reasons given for challenging the book: 

1)      ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

2)      The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
Nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

3)      The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
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
Nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

5)      The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

6)      Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint

7)      Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit

8)      What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
Nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit

9)      Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit

10)  To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Offensive language; racism

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