Banned Books Week 2008

Banned Books Week 2008 is being celebrated September 27 – October 4, and is the 27th annual celebration of the freedom to choose what we read, as well as to select from a full array of possibilities.

According to the American Library Association, more than 400 books were challenged in 2007. The 10 most challenged titles were:

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language

4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
Reasons:  Religious Viewpoint

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Reasons:  Racism

6. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7. TTYL, by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
Reasons:  Sexually Explicit

9. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Reasons:  Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons:  Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

There are a variety of events across the country to celebrate Banned Books Week, including a Read-Out! — a continuous reading of banned/challenged books — in Chicago on September 27. Google has also created a nice website with access to a variety of banned books. There’s even a Facebook page.

Please visit a local library or bookstore this week, and celebrate the freedom to read.

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