Today marks the first day of National Book Month, a month-long celebration of reading and great books. Why not start the month by celebrating your freedom to read?
Banned Book Week can be an excellent opportunity to introduce your child to new, often critically aclaimed, books. However, it’s also a great opportunity to discuss what freedom means, a concept that can be a little ambiguous to a child.
Banned Books Week 2012 marks the 30th anniversary of this national event celebrating Americans freedom to read. The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom receives reports on attempts to ban books all across the country from libraries, schools, and the media. However, the ALA does not “claim comprehensiveness in recording challenges as research suggests that for each challenge reported there are as many as four or five that go unreported. In addition, OIF has only been collecting data about banned banned books since 1990, so we do not have any lists of frequently challenged books or authors before that date.”
You can start with the ALA’s Frequently Challenged Books of the 21st Century. Below are the top 10 books or series challenged, and the reasons reported for the challenges, in 2011.
- ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
- The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
- The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
- My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
- Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
- Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
- What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
- Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
- To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee Reasons: offensive language; racism