Saturday, May 14, 2011

Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2010

In April, the American Library Association released the list of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2010. Many books are challenged, but few are actually banned.

Color me na├»ve; I didn’t think banning books was something still happening in this country. Challenging books seems ridiculous, although I don’t argue a person’s right to do so. I’m sure people have good intentions, but we all know the name of that paved road. As an adult, I’ll decide what I’ll read, thank you very much. It’s a no brainer that the responsibility of monitoring what children read falls to the parents, not society.

Librarians, teachers, and booksellers are our First Amendment guard dogs protecting our right to read what we want, and keeping our choices uncensored. Let freedom ring!

The Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2010:

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence

3. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, and sexually explicit

4. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit

5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence

6. Lush, by Natasha Friend
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

7. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones 
Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

8. Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich 
Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, and religious viewpoint

9. Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: homosexuality and sexually explicit

10.Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence

Can you imagine not being allowed to read The Hunger Games? It’s one of my favorite books. It’s being challenged for being sexually explicit. Did they even read the book? Hmmm, I say. I don’t recall anything sexually explicit… Violent? Well, yeah. A little. *wink* But that's the point.

And what about Twilight? It’s not high brow literature, but it’s a love story that captured the hearts and imaginations of a gazillion people, and not just tweens. Yeah, I’ve read all the articles about Twilight and its purported Mormon dogma within, but I’m not Mormon so I didn’t recognize it so what of it? Stephanie Meyer is Mormon so it’s logical that its fingerprints would show up in her writing, but the story didn’t have religious overtones. Sure, there were things regarding Bella and Edward’s behavior that I didn’t agree with—Bella feeling incomplete without Edward and Edward being a scary stalker boyfriend—but I suspended belief and got into it, and it was a decent read.

My soapbox issue with Twilight is the creepy dhampir kid, Renessme, drinking blood from a sippy cup, and being called “half immortal.” The term half immortal makes my brain short circuit.

W-w-w-what does that mean exactly? Either you are mortal or you are immortal. Half human, half vampire is a dhampir, but the word doesn’t show up once in the book. I guess they don’t discuss vampire mythos at ward meetings. Heh.

Renessme, Creepy Dhampir Kid played by Mackenzie Foy

For the record, I'm Team Jacob, and his imprinting on CDK is wrong in so many ways, but I digress...

Thanks ALA. God Bless America!

2 comments:

  1. Are you kidding me? The Hunger Games is sexually explicit? What idiots are saying that? Yes, it's violent, but it serves a purpose. There is symbolism and reason behind it. It's in no way gratuitous.

    Having recently experienced a parent "disapprove" of a book I assigned to my class, it always amazes that the people who challenge books never even actually READ the books they disapprove of.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmm I've never even heard that Twilight (supposedly) has Mormon hidden messages ;) But I'm not Mormon either so that could be why....

    Creepy Damphir kid...*grin*

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the feedback. Be well, and happy reading!

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