Monday, September 23, 2013 | By: Taffy

Banned Book Challenge



I'm always surprised at the books that have been challenged or banned over the years. Then again, I'm NOT surprised at some of the others. No one has to tell me not to read certain because they're naughty or racist or full of evil. I choose for myself. I also choose not to read certain genres or book because of content. I'm not a prude or an introvert. I read 100 books a year. I just choose to read ones that don't get me down or fill my head will scenes I wouldn't want to see on TV or at the movies. Why would I want to read them?

But! I will  protect my children while they are young and innocent. For that reason, there are books that are not in my home and will not be in my home. Even if it's an English assignment. Does this mean I ban books in my home. You betcha. This doesn't mean I'm keeping my children in a bubble or I'm limiting them for when they go out in the real world. This means I am protecting them, and as their parent that is my right. I can control what comes in and out of my home.

I will not go to the local library and ask them to ban books. I have let them know they may want to read certain young adult books and see if that is the right shelf for them or if they should have an adult label.

My oldest daughter was not a reader until the Twilight series came along (you know what I just realized?? Twilight is not on the challenged or banned list!). My daughter devoured those books in a week. I read the books before she did and we talked about certain scenes in the books. Like it's not okay for a boy to hang out in your room. "Duh, Mom. We already have that rule."

Reading challenged/banned books is not the answer either. No one should feel pressure to read books they don't like. You don't like the idea of reading about witchcraft? It's okay if you don't want to read Harry Potter. You don't want to read about gay dads? Fine! Don't read Daddy's Roommate. Are you an animal lover? You may not want to read Of Mice and Men.

Read what makes you happy. I realized I really enjoy reading young adult books because there is usually some semblance of happiness. But I'm still picky which books I read from that genre.

Guess which book is the most banned books in America right now? Harry Potter.


I talked about some of the challenged/banned titles with my teens and tweens. Here's some of our discussion:

"Harry Potter is on the banned list."
"Why would they ban Harry Potter?"
"I think some people saw the word "witchcraft" and thought it was about real witches and cults."
"That's stupid!"
"Tom Sawyer has been banned, too."
"What? Why?"
"From what I understand, people were offended by the way blacks were portrayed in the book."
"But that's part of our history."
"I know. Here's another one: Daddy's Roommate."
"I'd never read that."
"Me either. But some people don't want you to even have a choice."
"Well, that's stupid."


Here is a list of challenged books in 2012 and the reasons why:

2012

Out of 464 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom
 
  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence


How many banned/challenged books have you read? Here are two challenges:

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books from 1990-1999  
(I only got 22)

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books from 2000-2009
(I only got 21)

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