Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Top Ten Most Challenged Library Books of 2011: No Surprises

And it is sadder than sad that this list isn't surprising to me, but I certainly hope it shocks readers that aren't familiar with the world of book censorship.  A 'challenged' book is any book that is asked to be removed from a library or class reading list. 

To kick off National Library Week the American Library Association has issued their 2011 State of America's Libraries Report.  Included is a list of the top ten most challenged library books of the year. Read more about the challenges here. Here are the top ten books and the reasons they were challenged.

1)      ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
2)      The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
Nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
3)      The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
Anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
Occult/satanic:  Where?  Magic doesn't even get mentioned once in the entire series, much less Old Nick himself.
4)      My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
Nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
5)      The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
6)      Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
 I don't know why so many books have 'nudity' that are totally without pictures.  Is a description of a naked body really
7)      Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
8)      What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
Nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
9)      Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
10)  To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Offensive language; racism
I am especially struck by accusations of racism in To Kill a Mockingbird, since it is a beautiful novel about how terrible racism is. Also, it is surprising to see accusation of occult/satanism in The Hunger Games.  There isn't a drop of magic in the series. I could easily go through each book here and argue it's worth and the reason they should be in libraries, but I'll leave that to you. Let us know in the comments if these books are truly dangerous for the impressionable youth of our nation.

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