I learned from Lauren that this week is Banned Books Week, a time of the year when everybody with a lick of sense observes the fondness that fact that attempting to suppress a piece of literature will make it more widely read. It’s perhaps the most wonderful phenomenon known to man.
According to the ALA website, the following are the most challenged books of 2004:
- “The Chocolate War” for sexual content, offensive language, religious viewpoint, being unsuited to age group and violence
- “Fallen Angels” by Walter Dean Myers, for racism, offensive language and violence
- “Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture” by Michael A. Bellesiles, for inaccuracy and political viewpoint
- Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey, for offensive language and modeling bad behavior
- “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, for homosexuality, sexual content and offensive language
- “What My Mother Doesn’t Know” by Sonya Sones, for sexual content and offensive language
- “In the Night Kitchen” by Maurice Sendak, for nudity and offensive language
- “King & King” by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, for homosexuality
- “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, for racism, homosexuality, sexual content, offensive language and unsuited to age group
- “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, for racism, offensive language and violence
Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? I’ve only read four of the ten (Angelou, Steinbeck, Chbosky, and Myers), and all of them except for Chbosky were wonderful (the exception would be more aptly described in scatological terms).