Banned Books Week 2010...Let's Celebrate!


I look forward to Banned Books week almost as as much as I look forward to Black Friday every year.  The drama, the anticipation, the controversy, the utter futility...it's just like fighting the crowds at the mall on the busiest shopping day of the year.



The most challenged books for 2009 were: 


And Tango Makes Three
1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle 
Reasons: drugs, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group


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


3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky 
Reasons: anti-family, drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group
My Sister's Keeper: A Novel

4. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee 
Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group 


5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer 
Reasons: religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 


6. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger 
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 


7. My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult 
Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
The Color Purple

8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler 
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 


9. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker 
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group


10. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier 
Reasons: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 



Honestly, banning books has never really made sense to me. For one thing, so you ban it from the school library. What about the public library? Bookstores? Borrowing from friends? There is no real way to completely "ban" a book, and that's a great thing. Censorship in any form is at best ineffective. What about other media?  Anything you can find in a book, you can find on tv or the internet, not only faster, but in greater quantities. And yet, every year, people try to challenge not only new books, but also some of the great classics of literature. Imagine a world without the following books:


1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger 
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck 
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee 
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker 
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce 
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison 
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding 
9. 1984, by George Orwell 
10. The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner 


Even though I might, possibly, maybe just a tiny bit AGREE with #5 on the 2009 list, it is a matter of personal preference only, and just because I don't care for it doesn't mean someone else might. See, that's the spirit of banned books week. 

I say, live and let read!






P.S. If you want to support the cause (other than reading the banned books themselves of course) you can head over to the American Library Association Store and check out the cool Banned Books Week merchandise over there. I especially like these neat Banned Books bracelets. Peace!

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