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Academic: The Faculty Lounge
This Week is Banned Books Week
By Kathy Stanchi
The last week in September is the week the American Library Association has set aside to raise awareness about book censorship. On the positive side, when the ALA first designated Banned Books week, in 1982, hundreds of books were being removed from library shelves in any given year. Last year, the number was only 40, according to Judith F. Krug, director of ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom. In commemoration of Banned Books Week, many libraries across America are reading from once (and current) banned books. If you want to learn more, including interesting information like banned book events near you (go to a reading!) and the frequency of challenges to books written by authors of color, check out the ALA's banned books site here.
Instead of a link, I thought it important enough to put the most frequently challenged books of 2007 right in this post. Notice a pattern? I did (more on that later). If you want to see other lists, include the most challenged books of the 21st Century, go to the ALA site, which is very informative:
Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2007
1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell. Picture book. (this book is about two male penguins who raise a baby penguin from a hetero penguin couple). Reasons: anti-ethnic, sexism, homosexuality, anti-family, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group.
2. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier. Youth novel. Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, violence.
3. Olive's Ocean, by Kevin Henkes. Youth novel. Reasons: sexually explicit and offensive language.
4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman. Youth novel. Reason: Religious viewpoint.
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. Novel. Reason: racism.
6. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker. Novel. Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language.
7. TTYL, by Lauren Myracle. Youth novel. Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group.
8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou. Novel. Reason: sexually explicit.
9. It's Perfectly Normal, by Robie H. Harris. Youth nonfiction. Reasons: sex education, sexually explicit.
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky. Novel. Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group.
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