Your Top 10

We’ve been officially discussing the concept of banned books since 1982. That’s 33 years of giving time and space to the idea that, for whatever reason, people shouldn’t read or have access to something. Last year, there were 311 book challenges made, with an eye of having them restricted or removed from schools and libraries, to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2014, and many more go unreported.

The 10 most challenged titles of 2014 were:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”

Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”

 It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.

Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”

A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

Drama, by Raina Telgemeier

Reasons: sexually explicit

— Jess


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8 responses to “Your Top 10

  1. Ani

    I loved True Diary. I read it a few times and was about to send it off to used book re-sell land when I found out it was a highly challenged book. So we’re keeping it cuz now my husband wants to read it. I didn’t see much reason for it to be banned, but then I realized that it’s very honest. That seems to be a big reason to try to ban something, noting the above.

  2. A book I’ve been trying to get my hands on, and I believe is still banned (certainly hard to find) in Ireland is The Dark, by acclaimed author John McGahern, who actually lost his position as a teacher because of the “controversy” it raised.

  3. The weird thing is, most of the countries that have the list of banned books-are freedom countries. I “understand” that those countries that are not free to have a list of banned books. But for countries, like USA, too…well, I think it defeats the purpose of being FREE. FREE to choose.

  4. The only one I’ve read has been the Kite Runner (which I LOVED, I loved his f/u Thousand Splendid Suns moreso). I’m definitely putting Sherman’s book on my TBR list. I wonder if the shoe was on the other foot…if a white student went to a Res, and had the same treatment-would it be on the banned book list? Most likely not. What’s good for the goose, should be good for the gander.

  5. Pingback: Your Top 10 | Self...In The Making

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