Friday, April 16, 2010

2009's Most Challenged Books

From ALA: Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books for 2009

Out of 460 challenges as reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom

1. “TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs
My Thoughts: I loved this series and found it to be very true as to how the teens today speak via texting, IM...I would recommend 9th grade+. Guess why I read this series??? A teacher where I worked tried to take a student's personal copy of this book because she didn't like it....well, if someone tells me that I CAN'T read something, then of course I'm going to get my hands on that book and READ IT!!!!

2. “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality

3. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide
My Thoughts: Another book that I so loved and I don't remember any anti-family thoughts...but hey, guess what world, lot's of kids feel that way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
My Thoughts: One of my favorite books ever. My son, Marcus is reading this one right now!

5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
My Thoughts: Sexually explicit??? LOL..what a joke!! Cheesy sexual thoughts especially in book 4!!!

6. “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
My Thoughts: I read this as an adult and just didn't get it....offensive language usually does not bother me.

7. “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence
My thoughts: Some of the reasons for being challenged are because it is unsuited to age group...well, it is targeted to adults but with the movie lots of teens are now reading Picoult....that's a bad thing??? This book was NOT sexually explicit, and that's why America was created...FREEDOM OF RELIGION!

8. “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
My Thoughts: I haven't read this one YET, but it is on my list!

9. “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
My Thoughts: This book had a huge impact on me as a young adult....I may read this one again. Excellent book.

10. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
My thoughts: Geesh...when I get to work today I better take this one off the shelf...wouldn't want anyone to read about nudity!!!! or sex or bad words....naughty naughty!!

So tell me, have you read any of these books??? What are your thoughts on censorship? Have you ever complained about the contents of a book that your child read in school?


  1. Amazing when you think of what kids see on tv, music videos, movies and the like!

  2. don't even get me started on censorship....ugh....i could ramble on that topic for days.....if peeps are gonna complain about certain!!! I can't believe to kill a mockingbird (my all time fave book/movie ever!), the color purple and twilight are actually on this list!! and i agree with u....twilight didn't have any 'sex' stuff in it....i mean come on....stephenie meyer went to BYU....i have a hard time thinking she would do anything really 'racy' lol lol! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  3. Sometimes I wonder what people think banning books. Are there books that shouldn't be required reading? Of course, Stephanie Meyer is a horrible writer but a great storyteller so I wouldn't require her books to be read for the grammatical errors alone. However, I would argue that To Kill a Mockingbird and The Color Purple (both of which I had to read in 9th grade many moons ago) should be on a required list for great writing and compelling stories that make you see outside a narrow area point of view! As far as disagreeing with censorship, I have always felt it is a parents right to choose how narrow (oh please do not let this be to many parents) or open-minded (please let this be the majority) they are about the books their children read. I have often found that the more you educate young minds, the more likely they are to avoid those things they think the books will push them to do. Of course, most of us book junkies would probably agree with that LOL

  4. Great post Staci! I've read a few of the books (the classic ones) so I can't really comment on the others except to say considering what kids see in most schools or hanging with friends I would imagine these books are pretty tame. I haven't read any of Stephanie Meyers books but my friend bought me Twilight for my birthday and said, 'Now you HAVE to read it! You have no excuse!!' (Obviously she loved it) We'll see....

  5. I really don't understand censorship. Do the same people who want to censor books want to censor guns or religion? I don't think so. I've read several of these, but I'm confused about why My Sister's Keeper would cause trouble. It's an adult book!

  6. Banned or Challenged books is also one of my hot buttons. I don't want anyone telling me (or my children) what I can read. Two of my all-time favorite books are on this list - The Color Purple and To Kill A Mockingbird. I'm glad to see I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings isn't on the list anymore.

    You didn't say what age group some of these books are aiming at, but I assume it's middle/high school age? I take age group restrictions as a guideline anyway. I noticed with my kids, and now my granddaughter, they were often interested in some books at much younger ages than recommended. For instance, my 11-year-old granddaughter has read the Twilight series. She loves the paranormal stuff. Her parents, however, are wise in that they are restricting which of the Twilight movies she can see. In reading a book you are bound by your own imagination. In a movie, you have to look at someone else's. Big difference.

    Thanks for sharing the list.

  7. Since I love naughty books, I put the ones I haven't read on my tbr list. Thanks for highlighting these.
    PS. Your wonderful header pic is gone. I just see a big black box.

  8. I just don't get book banning. I got a shirt for Christmas (Ok..I requested it..but it was still a gift lol) that says: "Ban ignorance, not books"

    I've read #4 through #10 and would have no problems letting a teenager read those. My philosophy is that if there is something in the book you don't like or think might be upsetting for your child, wouldn't it be best to let them read it and then discuss it with them when they are finished?

    I think most kids are like you (and me for that matter), if you tell them they can't..they will find a way to do whatever it is you don't want them to do.

  9. I've read And Tango Makes Three with my little girl. It's a cute book and a nice springboard for discussion about the fact that we don't all live in cookie cutter families. I've also read To Kill a Mockingbird (amazing book), Twilight (why draw undeserved attention to this twaddle by banning it? Sheesh.), Catcher in the Rye (great book) & The Color Purple (amazing book that really moved me as a teenager).

    My views on censorship are summed up in this quote:

    "Censorship, like charity, should begin at home: but unlike charity, it should end there." - Claire Booth Luce

  10. I can't believe people think that Twilight is sexually explicit! That was the first vampire book I ever read and it was very tame compared to the ones I have read since!

    I have never heard of The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things before, but I may need to check that one out.

    I don't know why people feel like they need to ban books. If you don't like a book, just don't read it. It doesn't mean that other people shouldn't read it.

  11. It just blows me away that people still want to ban books in this day and age. I've read 4 of the 10 books and would suggest them to anyone.

  12. I've only read four of the list. I don't think books should be censored unless it's me telling my own kids what I'd prefer they not read (which I can't ever remember doing! - they're all in their 20s now).

    Re: Catcher in the Rye - I think that it loses it's appeal the older the reader. I read it in high school (not assigned reading) and thought it was ok. Lately more adults have been reading it and like you, don't see what all the fuss is about. I agree :)

  13. My Sister's Keeper? Really?? I don't even remember most of those subjects coming up in the book. When I think back to it now, I think "Aw, that was sad" not "Wow, that was offensive." Now I want to read it again just to see where they got these reasons from. Challenging these books is not only making people want to read them for the first time, it's making people want to reread them!

  14. I just retired from working in a library so you might be able to discern my feelings on censorship. :-)

    I've read the Lauren Myracle series and thought it was very timely and cute. Read all the Twilight series and Catcher and My Sister's Keeper. What it boils down to is parents who are concerned about what their kids read need to read what their kids read and discuss with them. I fully support their right to direct their own children's lives while they are in their home, but get real. Those kids will leave at some point. The answer is not censorship.

  15. I do not in any way agree with censorship. It amazes me that books can be censored considering what kids can watch just by turning on their tv. They are much better off with what they'll get out of one of these books.

    Of this list I've read: To Kill a Mockingbird (my all time favorite book), the Twilight series (I have no idea where they got sexually explicit in those books- were they reading the right books?), Catcher in the Rye (I read years ago, barely remember it), My Sister's Keeper (don't get that one either) and The Color Purple (another amazing book).

    I'd suggest censoring what's put on tv before looking in books.

  16. I am floored that To Kill A Mockingbird is still on a challenged book list. It has been used as a teaching tool for years and opens up great discussions. I agree with Twilight, explicit? no-way, cheesy? yes. I need to re-read Catcher and see how I respond. Loved it as a high schooler, probably for what has it challenged. The Earth, My Butt and Other Big, Round Things was hilarious as well as touching. I read The Color Purple in my early 20's and it had a huge impact on me as well. Funny how these challenged books are also award winners.

    I've got the Lauren Myracle series on my TBR list.

  17. I have TTYL on my tbr pile...I guess I'll be reading it soon :P

    I honestly have trouble grasping what "anti-family" even MEANS. Shouldn't be be worded "anti a narrow-minded and exclusive definition of family that may ONLY include a mummy, a daddy, and two or three kids, preferably blond and blue-eyed, or else the world will EXPLODE"?

  18. My Sister's Keeper is an emotional story - it's the last Picoult I have read (I do love her and will read more someday). I saw the movie and cried for 2 hours!

    If parents let their kids read thrillers, and other dark books (with murder,suspence) why not let them read about something that can actually happen to a family?

  19. How interesting that so many older books continue to be challenged.

  20. Read the Color Purple back in HS. Enjoyed it except for the fact my teacher wanted to do nothing but discuss the lesbianism of the book. She was a lesbian so I'm sure that had something to do with it. There were other themes in there!

    Cathcer in the Rye, bored never finished it. Twilight...whatever! it for the first time a few years ago and loved it. I think kids would definitely learn from it.

  21. I've read about 4 of them.

    Sorry I haven't stopped by in awhile. I've been trying to get used t my new blog design and actually finish a book!

    I love your animal header. Cute!

  22. There are only 4 books on the list I haven't read, but I think those are going on my list. It really chaps my hide that people think they can use their narrow-mindedness to dictate what I should be able to read. If you don't want your kid reading something, fine, that's your right, but stop parenting the whole world! GRRRR. Thanks for posting this- I always like seeing lists of what people are trying to get censored, just so I can read everything on it. :)


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