Sunday, September 28, 2008

Banned Books Week

Thank you to Mrs. B for the reminder that it's Banned Books Week, so go celebrate your intellectual freedom by picking up a "banned" book! Below is a list of the most frequently challenged books of 2007, how many of them have you read?

Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met. As the Intellectual Freedom Manual (ALA, 7th edition) states:

“Intellectual freedom can exist only where two essential conditions are met: first, that all individuals have the right to hold any belief on any subject and to convey their ideas in any form they deem appropriate; and second, that society makes an equal commitment to the right of unrestricted access to information and ideas regardless of the communication medium used, the content of the work, and the viewpoints of both the author and receiver of information. Freedom to express oneself through a chosen mode of communication, including the Internet, becomes virtually meaningless if access to that information is not protected. Intellectual freedom implies a circle, and that circle is broken if either freedom of expression or access to ideas is stifled.”

The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2007” reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:

1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language

4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint

5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
Reasons: Racism

6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7) "TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8) "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit

9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10) "The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Off the list this year, are two books by author Toni Morrison. "The Bluest Eye" and "Beloved," both challenged for sexual content and offensive language.


kim said...

Which is part of the reason I am very afraid of Ms Palin.

Heather @ SGF said...

The only one on that list that I've read is the Golden Compass. But don't stop there, it's meant as a trilogy. It shares a beautiful philosophy of life. One of my favorite all time reads!

linda said...

Wow, I had no idea some of these were "banned books"! I think I will put the banner on my blog, that's just amazing! I shudder to think of Palin and her opinions on some of these and probably many, many others......sigh.....

Deb said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I will share this over at my place. As a former 7th grade literacy teacher I was surprised to see 'The Chocolate War' and 'The Golden Compass' on that list - these were books I used in book groups. Tell me I can't read something and guess what happens? I read it. Loudly. And I share it with everyone I can. Thanks for sharing this important information.

mrsb said...

Great list! I'll add those on to my list of things to read (the ones I haven't read already).

Helena S. said...

Sexuality is such a taboo!

(PS. Please don't let Mrs. Palin get any nearer to the throne.)

Rapunzel said...

Kim, me too! *shudder*

Rapunzel said...

Heather, I loved the movie, have added the books to my wish list!

Rapunzel said...

Linda, it is terrifying, isn't it?

Rapunzel said...

Deb, LOL, me, too! from what I recall, The Chocolate Wars was on the list because there was a reference to masturbation. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that.

Heather @ SGF said...

The books are WAY better than the movie. Hope you enjoy!

Rapunzel said...

mrsb, I have a few to add to my list as well!

Rapunzel said...

Helena, yep, it often comes down to sex. Ridiculous, eh?

Anonymous said...

Hm, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" is one of the best books I've ever read...and "Perks of Being a Wallflower" was pretty awesome too.

I hate the banned books list. People are really stupid for trying to "edit" other people's experiences.