It’s Banned Books Week!
This year, September 27 – October 3 is Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week is an annual event that seeks to draw national attention to the harms of censorship.
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”
- And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”
- It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”
- Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”
- A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group
- Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit
From 2000 to 2009, 5,099 challenges were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom.
- 1,577 challenges due to “sexually explicit” material
- 1,291 challenges due to “offensive language”
- 989 challenges due to materials deemed “unsuited to age group”
- 619 challenged due to “violence”‘
- 361 challenges due to “homosexuality”
- 274 materials were challenged due to “occult” or “Satanic” themes
- 291 materials were challenged due to their “religious viewpoint”
- 119 materials were challenged because they were “anti-family”
The vast majority of challenges were initiated by parents (2,535), with patrons and administrators to follow (516 and 489 respectively).
The only book I’ve read from the list is The Bluest Eye, which I read in college as it was assigned for a class. I thought it was a great and very sad book and yeah, it does contain controversial issues but those issues provided the basis for many intellectual and thought provoking conversations in my class.
I have strong opinions about book banning and challenges. I get that not every book is for everyone and if someone doesn’t like a book, then they don’t have to read it. But in my opinion, that doesn’t give them the right to restrict other people from reading it as well.
Just my thoughts. I’m curious as to everyone else’s…