Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Celebrate Banned Books Week

The week of September 29 through October 6, 2007, marks the 26th anniversary of Banned Books Week, the ALA's annual celebration of the freedom to read. Here are some ways you can celebrate Banned Books Week:

1. Reflect on what it means that you have the freedom to read whatever you want to read.

2. Consider this list of 10 Most Challenged Books of 2006:
"And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, for homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuited to age group;
"Gossip Girls" series by Cecily Von Ziegesar for homosexuality, sexual content, drugs, unsuited to age group, and offensive language;
"Alice" series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for sexual content and offensive language;
"The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things" by Carolyn Mackler for sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
"The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison for sexual content, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
"Scary Stories" series by Alvin Schwartz for occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, violence, and insensitivity;
"Athletic Shorts" by Chris Crutcher for homosexuality and offensive language;
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky for homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
"Beloved" by Toni Morrison for offensive language, sexual content, and unsuited to age group;
"The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier for sexual content, offensive language, and violence.
Off the list this year, but on for several years past, are the "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain.

3. Attend whatever your nearest library has planned for this week. This Friday, October 5th, I'll go to the Northgate Library in Chattanooga to hear Dr. Fran Bender, UTC Professor and Children's Literature scholar, talk about children's books and censorship issues. (Find logos HERE.)

4. Read a book that has been banned, somewhere, sometime. As the author of Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, said, "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." Here are a few authors to consider, if you plan to read a banned book:
The most frequently challenged authors in 2005 were Judy Blume, Robert Cormier, Chris Crutcher, Robie Harris, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Toni Morrison, J. D. Salinger, Lois Lowry, Marilyn Reynolds, and Sonya Sones.

The most frequently challenged authors in 2004 were Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Robert Cormier, Judy Blume, Toni Morrison, Chris Lynch, Barbara Park, Gary Paulsen, Dav Pilkey, Maurice Sendak, and Sonya Sones.

The most frequently challenged authors in 2003 were Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, J. K. Rowling, Robert Cormier, Judy Blume, Katherine Paterson, John Steinbeck, Walter Dean Myers, Robie Harris, Stephen King, and Louise Rennison.

The most frequently challenged authors in 2002 were J.K. Rowling, Judy Blume, Robert Cormier, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Stephen King, Lois Duncan, S.E. Hinton, Alvin Schwartz, Maya Angelou, Roald Dahl, and Toni Morrison.

The most frequently challenged authors in 2001 were J. K. Rowling, Robert Cormier, John Steinbeck, Judy Blume, Maya Angelou, Robie Harris, Gary Paulsen, Walter Dean Myers, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and Bette Greene.

The most frequently challenged authors in 2000 were J.K. Rowling, Robert Cormier, Lois Duncan, Piers Anthony, Walter Dean Myers, Phylis Reynolds Naylor, John Steinbeck, Maya Angelou, Christopher Pike, Caroline Cooney, Alvin Schwartz, Lois Lowry, Harry Allard, Paul Zindel, and Judy Blume.
Five of Judy Blume’s books are on the list of The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books: Forever (8), Blubber (32), Deenie (46), Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret (62), and Tiger Eyes (78).

5. Read the list of The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000:
1. Scary Stories (Series) ~ by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy's Roommate ~ by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ~ by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War ~ by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ~ by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men ~ by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) ~ by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever ~ by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia ~ by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) ~ by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies ~ by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead ~ by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye ~ by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver ~ by Lois Lowry
15. It's Perfectly Normal ~ by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) ~ by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die ~ by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple ~ by Alice Walker
19. Sex ~ by Madonna
20. Earth's Children (Series) ~ by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins ~ by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time ~ by Madeleine L'Engle
23. Go Ask Alice ~ by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels ~ by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen ~ by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) ~ by Harry Allard
27. The Witches ~ by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex ~ by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) ~ by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats ~ by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy ~ by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber ~ by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin ~ by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC ~ by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down ~ by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit ~ by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid's Tale ~ by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves ~ by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye ~ by Toni Morrison
40. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters ~ by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird ~ by Harper Lee
42. Beloved ~ by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders ~ by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman ~ by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night ~ by Harry Allard
46. Deenie ~ by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon ~ by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind ~ by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face ~ by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat ~ by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic ~ by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World ~ by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy ~ by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up ~ by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo ~ by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach ~ by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook ~ by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex ~ by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People ~ by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho ~ by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons ~ by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret ~ by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady ~ by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts ~ by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade ~ by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? ~ by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits ~ by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton ~ by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five ~ by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies ~ by William Golding
71. Native Son ~ by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies ~ by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells ~ by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack ~ by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima ~ by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? ~ by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie ~ by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes ~ by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor ~ by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid ~ by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets ~ by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg ~ by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone ~ by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ~ by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon ~ by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running ~ by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts ~ by Howard Stern
88. Where's Waldo? ~ by Martin Hanford
89. Summer of My German Soldier ~ by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo ~ by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth ~ by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose ~ by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education ~ by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones ~ by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex ~ by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms ~ by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree ~ by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid ~ by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist ~ by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom ~ by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
6. Join my new reading challenge, which I just now decided to do, which I'll probably call the Banned Books reading challenge. There would be no time limit, no set number of books to read, just whatever you choose. We would choose books from this list and others provided over time by the ALA (American Library Association). Okay, now that I've talked myself into this new challenge, I'll make it my next post.

UPDATE: More lists of banned books:
1. Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century
2. Most Challenged Books of 21st Century (2000-2005)
3. Wikipedia has a partial list of banned books
4. Read everything I've written on this blog about banned books.
5. Banned Books Online tells about quite a few banned books.


Unknown said...

I'm always gobsmacked by what's on those lists. I honestly think some people can't see further than the ends of their collective noses and have nothing better to do with their time. Hmm, I think I've now got a bad case of the mutters! ;-)
Excellent post, Bonnie! I'm now going to go back and check to see which of those evil books I've already read!

Dewey said...

I'd love to join a reading challenge like that. I'd want to work on the most challenged of 00 to 05 list.

We saw an old episode of Dr Quinn Medicine Woman the other day. Her mother sent her her father's entire collection of books (he's dead) and she starts a town library. The town goes nuts over a teen reading The Scarlet Letter, and closes down the library and even has a little book burning before Dr Quinn and her family put out the fire. And then Sunday morning, at church, the preacher freaks out because she's carrying one of her books, saying her sinful books are not welcome in church, etc., and she says, 'Oh yes, I see why you'd object to this book. It has this violence and that sex and blah blah blah (she gives some specific answers). And the priest and worshippers gasp in horror and ask what this terrible book is called, and she hands it over and it's the Bible! HA! So they opened her library again.