Banned Books Week 2012

Since joining the world of book blogging I have discovered many interesting things however I think this is the most interesting so far. The 30th September saw the start of the 30th Banned Books Week. This is  an annual event in America sponsored by the American Library Association and highlights the value of free access to information. Bringing together people from all area’s of the book community the week shows how people are trying to prevent censorship and the harm preventing access causes. The week celebrates however that although many books are challenged they are often still available for reading and for two years now the event includes a Virtual-Read-Out where people can post pictures of themselves reading challenged books. This year for the 30th Anniversary they are also holding a 50 State Salute to Banned Books and videos are going to be uploaded to show how each state is celebrating their right to read.

It is surprising to hear that still in 2011 326 books were challenged. The top ten of these were;

  • The Internet Girls Series by Lauren Myracl

Reasons Banned: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

  • The Color Trilogy by Kim Dong Hwa 

Reasons Banned: sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins 

Reasons Banned: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

  • My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy  by Dori Hillestad Butler

Reasons Banned: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie 

Reasons Banned: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

  • Alice Series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor 

Reasons Banned: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Reasons Banned: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit

  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

Reasons Banned: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit

  • Gossip Girl Series by Cecily Von Ziegesar

Reasons Banned: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 

Reasons Banned: offensive language; racism

Some of the most popular from other years include;

  • The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyers
  • The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  • My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult 

I just find it mad to think some of my favourite books of the past few years have been consider unsuitable.

For more information check out http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned or http://bannedbooksweek.org/

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One thought on “Banned Books Week 2012

  1. It’s also interesting/mad how many of those are YA or could be read at a relatively young age. I think of all the books on that list that I’ve read (Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, Brave New World, To Kill A Mockingbird), I read before I graduated high school. The only exception is Hunger Games, but that’s because it wasn’t out yet! I get that books are challenged because they might expose our delicate special-flower fragile children to the horrors of the world, but hey, the world is horrible sometimes, and I wish these book-challengers could recognize that the books they’re attacking can actually offer young readers tools to deal with life.

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