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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