Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Banned Book Week

September 27 - October 4

I was reading Vicki Lane's blog, and she talked about Banned Books Week. So, I decided to check it out and get more info. It really amazes me how some people think they should be allowed to tell everyone else what they can and cannot read.

Searching the internet, I found the American Library Association's list of the top ten books challenged in 2007. (According to the website, a challenge is a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school asking that the book be removed.)

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

3. Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes

4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark

6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

7. TTYL by Lauren Myracle

8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

9. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Doesn't it seem surprising that in this day and age, Huckleberry Finn still gets challenged? And this is only the top 10 list for that year. More research reveals many more books. Lists from other years as well are available, and it is staggering the books that constantly get challenged. Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, Blubber. (I was a big Judy Blume fan as a kid, so that one really amazes me. I don't know what I would have done without Blume's books.)

I agree with the notion that it is up to parents to control what their children read, and that they should make an informed decision by reading the books themselves. But they shouldn't try to control what others read. It's called having an open mind. We all need more of that.

And don't forget to read a banned book this week.