It’s Banned Book Week: 9/25- 10/2

27 Sep

During the last week of September every year, hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2010 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from Sept. 25 through Oct. 2.

Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982. The challenges have occurred in every state and in hundreds of communities. Click here to see a map of book bans and challenges in the US from 2007 to 2009. People challenge books that they say are too sexual or too violent. They object to profanity and slang, and they protest against offensive portrayals of racial or religious groups–or positive portrayals of homosexuals. Their targets range from books that explore contemporary issues and controversies to classic and beloved works of American literature.

According to the American Library Association, out of 460 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2009, the 10 most challenged titles were:

ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, drugs,
and unsuited to age group

And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: homosexuality


The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually
explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Reasons: racism, offensive language, unsuited to age group

Twilight (series), by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: sexism, homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group, drugs, suicide, violence

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn  Mackler
Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read!

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