The ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. We compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. The top ten most frequently challenged books of 2014 include:
1) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”
2) Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”
3) And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”
4) The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”
5) It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”
6) Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. Additional reasons:
7) The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence
8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”
9) A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group
10) Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
This book is #8 in the top ten YA banned books.
From the Publisher The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
I loved it. It’s the perfect mash up of every banned book from my generation, from Judy Blume’s whole range to Go Ask Alice, updated for 1991. Ironically, Charlie reads banned books that his teacher gives him outside of class including Catcher in the Rye.
Yes, there are many issues addressed here. Yet, teen angst at its best is still peppered with sex, drugs, death. Reality cannot be banned. Neither can the written word. Banning books does not change reality.
There is beautiful sentiment in this story mixed in with what’s faced everyday through the painful issues of teen abuse, rape, homosexuality and depression. Through the sensitive voice of Charlie, we are reminded of what makes us human. A necessary, thoughtful book.
In the novel, Charlie’s teacher, Bill, assigns him various books to read. Charlie describes them all as his favorites.
* To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
* This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
* Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
* The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
* A Separate Peace by John Knowles
* The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
* On the Road by Jack Kerouac
* Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
* Walden by Henry David Thoreau
* Hamlet by William Shakespeare
* The Stranger by Albert Camus
* The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
The book also references a book of poems by E. E. Cummings and The Mayor of Castro Street by Randy Shilts and This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Source/Reference: Yahoo Answers