Thursday, October 2, 2008

Banned Books Week, now through Oct 4th

We all know Huckleberry Finn shows up on the list of banned and challenged books year after year. Did you realize Huck has plenty of youthful company? Harry Potter, Alice (Go Ask Alice), Lyra (The Golden Compass), and Scout and Jem (To Kill a Mockingbird).

For more, check the list of banned and challenged books from the American Library Association. The ALA explains, "The challenges documented in this list are not brought by people merely expressing a point of view; rather, they represent requests to remove materials from schools or libraries, thus restricting access to them by others. Even when the eventual outcome allows the book to stay on the library shelves and even when the person is a lone protester, the censorship attempt is real."

Top Ten Challenged Books in 2007
  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
  2. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
  3. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
  4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  6. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  7. TTYL, by Lauren Myracle
  8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
  9. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
  10. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Primary reasons for book challenges: (2000 - 2005)
  • Offensive language
  • Sexually explicit
  • Unsuited to age group
  • Violence
  • Occult/Satanism
  • Other (something that doesn't fit the other 19 categories)

Additional interesting information and datapoints here. (I'd love to get my hands on the raw data and make their graphs pop.)

Returning now to reading the slim little novel from 6th grade Minnesotan curriculum: The Giver. Good stuff.

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