Banned Books Week: Celebrate the Freedom to Read!

Submitted by kdeweese on September 29, 2010 - 5:02pm

Banned Books Week is a national celebration of the freedom to read, and it occurs every year in the last week of September.  During this week, we take the time to consider the harmful effects of censorship by taking a close look at books that have been banned or challenged across the country.  Also, we celebrate the fact that we (and our parents) are able to make our own decisions and choices about what is right for us to read.

Books are challenged for a lot of different reasons -- someone may think a book is too violent, has inappropriate sexuality, uses foul language, or displays racism.  Many of the books that people object to are books written for children and teens -- likely because they want to protect young people from being exposed to what they consider inappropriate.  However, what is inappropriate for one family does not mean that another family cannot choose to read it, and in our country that right (to choose for ourselves) is protected.

According to the American Library Association, the top ten challenged books last year are the following:

 

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1.  ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs

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2.  And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality

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3.  The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide

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4.  To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

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5.  Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

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6.  The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

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7.  My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence

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8.  The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

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9.  The Color Purple, Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

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10.  The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

 

Have you read any of these books? How would you feel if someone decided for you that you could not read them? Discuss!

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