Celebrate the Freedom to Read by Reading a Banned Book!

September 26, 2013

September 22-28, 2013 is Banned Books Week, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. As always, the OIF has released a list of this past year’s most challenged books. They are:

1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey. Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group.

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.

3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group.

4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson. Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group.

6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit.

7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.

8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz. Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence.

9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit.

10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison. Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence.

Unsurprisingly, Seven Stories has had a number of books banned from schools and libraries. Here are a few:

1. Censored 2013 by Project Censored

Every year since 1976, Project Censored, our nation’s oldest news-monitoring group—founded at Sonoma State University by Carl Jensen, directed for many years by Peter Phillips, and now under the leadership of Mickey Huff—has produced a Top-25 list of underreported news stories and a book, Censored, dedicated to the stories that ought to be top features on the nightly news, but that are missing because of corporate media bias and self-censorship.

2. 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert

Every night, Bailey dreams about magical dresses: dresses made of crystals and rainbows, dresses made of flowers, dresses made of windows … Unfortunately, when Bailey’s awake, no one wants to hear about these beautiful dreams. Quite the contrary. “You’re a BOY!” Mother and Father tell Bailey. “You shouldn’t be thinking about dresses at all.”

3. 1491: Una nueva historia de la Americas antes de Colon by Charles C. Mann

A Spanish language edition of the national best seller that debunks longstanding notions of Pre-Columbian Americas as pristine wilderness, arguing that enormous indigenous populations actively manipulated their environments, building cities and societies larger than those of their European contemporaries.

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