Hey there folks! As many of you may have heard or read, this week is Banned Books Week. To honor the importance of such a week I will be straying from The Broke and Bookish‘s weekly topic, and choosing to follow in the footsteps of Words for Worms‘ idea of listing favorite banned books!
Top Ten – Favorite Banned Books (A Banned Books Week Celebration)
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes – I’ve mentioned this book here before, it’s a beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking story about a human test subject, told through his point of view. According to Wikipedia is 43rd on the American Library’s Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-1999. The reasons for the challenges vary, but usually center on parts of the novel in which Charlie deals with his sexual desires as the medicine affects his brain.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – one of my all-time favorites. Do we really need to mention the controversial issues here? The entire book is basically just a list of social “weak spots.” Drugs, acohol, homosexuality, sex, abuse, and all of those involving teenagers.
- My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult – well, whaddaya know! Even the loveliest family-life, coming of age, semi-cancer child story can be a challenged book! This wonderful creation was 7th on the ALA’s 2009 list of most frequently challenged books because of sexism, homosexuality, sexual explicity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuitability to age group, drugs, suicide, violence. Holy shit.
- Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park – not sure if I’m supposed to laugh or cry at this one. Apparently, Miss B. made it to the ALA list at #71 for the most challenged between the years of 2000-2009, and this is because she isn’t considered as a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. I just… is this a joke?
- 1984 by George Orwell – I think the reasons here are pretty clear. Great book. Go read. You can never look at anything political the same. IT ALL FEELS LIKE A CONSPIRACY NOW.
- Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary – apparently the book was removed from some school in California because a kid came across the entry “oral sex.” We start bannin’ dictionaries – everything’s going to go downhill from here.
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – violence is definitely a big issue here, so I do think it’s okay to avoid letting younger kids read it, but the message of the book is one ALL people need to understand, so banning is not the option, but monitored/supervised reading for the younger ones.
- Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume – a favorite of mine growing up. The book deals with issues deemed controversial when addressed in a kid’s book, although that’s the whole porblem because the book discusses subjects which MUST BE DISCUSSED WITH KIDS but aren’t because they’re considered taboo. That’s really the irony of censorship in general. If you decide to hide something, chances are it’s something everyone needs to hear.
- Harry Potter by JK Rowling – too many people are under the impression that JK Rowling wants to create a generational Satanic cult.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry – probably need to re-read this. At the time I did not get the point of dystopian novels and so the end pissed me off. To be frank, I still don’t really get it. 1984 inspired a fit of rage, followed by acceptance of the ending and complete awe and admiration for Orwell dearest. I have a feeling dystopians tend to become Banned Book List favorites. Censorship is EXACTLY aimed at making… everything bad sort of just disappear.
That’s all for now. This has been a great learning experience – turns out there are SO many more challenged books than I thought. I may follow up with some more banned book themed posts this week, maybe even let it continue till the next. It’s a very important topic – seven days aren’t nearly enough. It should ALWAYS be on our minds. So, what banned books did YOU like? Or are you a rule follower and thus have a wonderful new by-the-host-topic-choice TTT to share with us all? Go ahead! Comment! Share!
Keep Calm and STOP CENSORSING BOOKS.