Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Lineup ~ Challenged Books

This Lineup has to do with a current event: Banned Books Week. (If you don't know what that is, you should stop by real quick because I'm bad with explaining things and I'm just going to get down to the listing). I'm lining up the books I've read off of the Top Ten Challenged Books Lists by Year: 2001-2012 that I found. With each book, I included the title, reasons why they were challenged (I went with the reasons under their most recent year), and the years they showed up on the top ten list. 

These books are not ranked from most to least favorite like I usually do. Take a look at the titles, and you'll see why. They are some of the best books I've ever read and I refuse to say one is better than the other. So, I just made two different groups. 

*Click on the book covers to go to the Goodreads pages*

Valuable Books - The Ones that are Worth Every Second of Your Time

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
Year: 2012, 2008

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
Year: 2012

Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
Year: 2012

Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling 
Reasons: occult/Satanism
Years: 2003, 2002, 2001

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Reasons: offensive language; racism
Years: 2011, 2009

The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
Years: 2011, 2010 

Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
Year: 2010

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
Reasons: offensive language, racism, violence
Years: 2004, 2003, 2001

His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
Years: 2008
2007 (for The Golden Compass

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group 
Years: 2012, 2011, 2010

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
Reason: offensive language
Year: 2002

Other Books

ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle 
Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
Years: 2011, 2009, 2008
 2007 (for ttyl only)

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence
Years: 2010, 2009

Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
Year: 2001

I'm sorry I didn't include my thoughts with each one, but chances are, these books will pop up on later Lineups where I will talk about them. The first nine books/series are some of my favorites of all time, and I definitely recommend each and every one of them. 

I do understand a little bit why some of them are on the challenged list (like Crank and Thirteen Reasons Why), but many of the reasons just seem so silly, like these ones:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird was challenged because of "racism," and yes, the book has a lot of racism it it (which isn't surprising) but I don't believe it should be challenged for that. 
  • Harry Potter . . . it's one of the most beloved series ever, so it's funny that it's on the list.
  • The Hunger Games is "anti-family," apparently. Am I the only one who thinks that makes absolutely no sense?
  • I honestly don't get the whole "religious viewpoint" for Twilight.
  • For all the books that say "unsuited to age group," I actually think are well suited for YA.

  • The one I'm most confused about is the ttyl series. I don't see why it's been challenged so much. There are much more challenge-worthy books out there. 

I have some questions for you:
How are you celebrating Banned Books Week?
Which books are you confused about why they've been challenged?
Which banned/challenged books have you read and loved?
Lastly, do you think most banned/challenged books are actually some of the most valuable ones to read? 

Check out other Banned Books Week related posts around the blogosphere
(If you have a post and I missed it, please let me know and I'll include it here.)

Emily @ Forever Literary 

Octavia @ Read. Sleep. Repeat. 

Jen @ The Starry-Eyed Review
One of the stops on the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Teen Librarian Toolbox
Teens NEED Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

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