Banned Book Week
Banned Book Week is the United States’ national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read, this week libraries and book stores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship (see more information on Banned Books Week).
“Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it. And if you open it and read it, you don’t have to like it. And if you read it and you dislike it, you don’t have to remain silent about it.
You can write to me, you can complain about it, you can write to the publisher, you can write to the papers, you can write your own book. You can do all those things, but there your rights stop.
No one has the right to stop me writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published, or sold, or bought, or read.”
Click on the following – BANNED BOOKS – to find out why some books have been censored in the United States.
The Huff Post ‘Books’ in – Freedom to Read Under Fire as Attempts to Ban Books Continue – lists the top 10 challenged books of 2012 as:
- “Captain Underpants” (series), by Dav Pilkey (Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group)
- “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie (Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group)
- “Thirteen Reasons Why,” by Jay Asher (Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group)
- “Fifty Shades of Grey,” by E. L. James (Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit)
- “And Tango Makes Three,” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson (Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group)
- “The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini (Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit)
- “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green (Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group)
- “Scary Stories” (series), by Alvin Schwartz (Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence)
- “The Glass Castle,” by Jeanette Walls (Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit)
- “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison (Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence)
Seeking to influence the mores of a society, especially through children’s literature, is probably the most common reason for seeking to ban a book. I found the following talk by Donna Jo Napoli, who writes books for young children and adolescents, quite enlightening.
The following (top 10) list of classic books have been banned at some time in the United States. Have you read any of them?
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
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