Every year the American Library Association celebrates the freedom to read.
Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment. —Article 3, Library Bill of Rights
Most books are challenged with the good intentions, at least, that is what I am telling myself. Challenges usually made in an effort to protect children from ‘inappropriate’ content. More often than not it is ‘sexual explicit’, ‘offensive language’, or ‘unsuited for any age group’.
It is somewhere around the time that the talk about the book moves from “I don’t want my kid to read that.” to “NO kid should read that.” is when I start to have major problems.
I am still on a post-vacation glow so I am not going down the rabbit hole where I rant that most (all, really) of the challenged books are about or by authors of color, LGBT issues, or differences in culture. I call shenanigans on that shit.
Instead I am going to say that I think no one should tell anyone else what they can and cannot read.
Here is the list of the 10 most challenge books of 2014. Read them, share them, buy them for your library.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian // 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 // 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 // Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”
It’s Perfectly Normal // Robie Harris
Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”
Saga // Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. Additional reasons:
The Kite Runner // Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence
The Perks of Being a Wallflower // 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 // Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit
What Banned Books are you reading this week?