In Honor of ALA’s Banned Books Week

According to the American Library Association the Top 10 Banned/Challenged Books of 2008 include the following titles:

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
2. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
3.TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
4. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence
5. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence
6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
7. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
8. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group
9. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
10. Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group (Taken from http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/
frequentlychallenged/21stcenturychallenged/2008/index.cfm

Personally, I am against any and all forms of censorship, right down to those little stickers they put on DVDs and CDs. Nine years ago the school where I teach considered banning To Kill a Mockingbird. There was an outcry by the English Department and they ended up not banning the book. I decided then and there that I would never teach at a school that bans books. I feel it is counterintuitive. The day they ban a book at my school is the day I quit. From that day to this I have incorporated a banned books unit every year where students create a literary portfolio on banned and challenged books. It is sad how many students don’t realize that we still ban books in this country.

I wonder how other writers feel on this subject which is part of the reason I am posting this blog. Do you agree or disagree with censorship? Is there a point where censorship should come into play? How would you feel if a book you wrote was challenged or banned? I am curious.

Happy Banned Books Week! If you are curious to see more titles of banned/challenged books visit the following url: http://www.iterasi.net/openviewer.aspx?qrlitid=ddaqea0a_0axzjw0hwttta

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About M. Jaynes

A female educator with anger-management issues, M. Jaynes is causing change in the world by inspiring (some may say forcing) young minds to think for themselves and question everything.

Comments

  1. When I was in Berlin, there’s an open square in the heart of the city. The square is a memorial. It has plexiglass tiles that let visitors look down into the basement where empty book shelves symbolize the hundreds of books that Hitler burned. There’s also a message engraved in the stone tiles that reads something to the effect of “Those that burn books will later burn people.” The author wrote it fifty or more years before Hitler came to power.

    Banning books is a form of politicial and cultural control. I may never read any of the books on the list, but I’m glad that if I would chose to do so, they’re available. Plus, I doubt any of them are as unsavory as Justine or Lolita which are both considered significant in the history of the novel.