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Friday, August 26, 2011

The "bestseller" list of banned books

Once a year, the American Library Association publishes a Top Ten list of controversial library books

Whether they have been banned, or not, is up to the board of each library, but here is the list, in order, of books that have come under attack:

The TTYL; TTFN; LBR; G8R series, by Lauren Myracle (YA books written in text-talk, with teenaged-style sexual references)

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Pamell and Justin Richardson (A cute, well-reviewed book about a couple of male penguins who love each other and want to raise an egg)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Debut novel with mixed reviews about the inner struggles of a boy who can't help being a geek)

To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee (Enduring classic about racism, through the eyes of a child)

Twilight (series) by Stephanie Meyer (I found the final volume very disturbing, too -- but what's the point of banning something the kids would kill to get their hands on, anyway?)

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (Classic about the challenges of adolescence, told in brilliant, tough, streetwise, stream of consciousness style.)

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Thought-provoking novel about a 13-year-old who has been donating bits of her body to her cancer-ridden sister for years, and wants to get control back.)

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn McKler (The inner struggles of a girl who is unhappy with her physique)

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (The deathless story of Celie, and her struggles to protect her sister from the cruelty and sexual abuse she is enduring herself)

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (Memorable and disturbing, a story every adolescent boy who questions the world around him should read)

Quite apart from the self-defeating madness of trying to ban books, it is interesting to see how the list has evolved.  It is still possible to suspect that the people who hate these stories are racist, but on the whole it is yet another facet of the current passion (also doomed) to protect adolescents from themselves.

1 comment:

linda collison said...

Good remarks. You can't ban human thoughts, ideas, and emotions. But you don't have to read them. And if your kids are reading them, talk to them, for heaven's sake!
Banned books soon become notorious, which is why I wish somebody would bother to ban mine!