Monday, September 21, 2009

It's Banned Books Week

Dear Me,

This coming September 26th till October 3rd, bibliophiles from the US will be celebrating their freedom to read. This
American Library Association (ALA) event has been observed since 1982.

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.

Considering I am not an American but a bibliophile at heart, I enjoin them in celebrating the liberty to read anything as well as rally to make such books available without being challenged or restricted.

From 1990–1999, here are the top 100 most frequently challenged books:

    1. Scary Stories (Series), by Alvin Schwartz

    2. Daddy's Roommate, by Michael Willhoite

    3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

    4. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier

    5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

    6. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

    7. Forever, by Judy Blume

    8. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson

    9. Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman

    10. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

    11. The Giver, by Lois Lowry

    12. My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

    13. It's Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

    14. Alice (Series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

    15. Goosebumps (Series), by R.L. Stine

    16. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck

    17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

    18. Sex, by Madonna

    19. Earth's Children (Series), by Jean M. Auel

    20. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson

    21. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak

    22. The Witches, by Roald Dahl

    23. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

    24. The New Joy of Gay Sex, by Charles Silverstein

    25. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous

    26. The Goats, by Brock Cole

    27. The Stupids (Series), by Harry Allard

    28. Anastasia Krupnik (Series), by Lois Lowry

    29. Final Exit, by Derek Humphry

    30. Blubber, by Judy Blume

    31. Halloween ABC, by Eve Merriam

    32. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George

    33. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane

    34. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

    35. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters, by Lynda Madaras

    36. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers

    37. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood

    38. The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton

    39. The Pigman, by Paul Zindel

    40. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

    41. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier

    42. Deenie, by Judy Blume

    43. Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes

    44. Annie on my Mind, by Nancy Garden

    45. Beloved, by Toni Morrison

    46. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar

    47. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat, by Alvin Schwartz

    48. Harry Potter (Series), by J.K. Rowling

    49. Cujo, by Stephen King

    50. James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl

    51. A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein

    52. Ordinary People, by Judith Guest

    53. American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis

    54. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

    55. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)

    56. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard

    57. Asking About Sex and Growing Up, by Joanna Cole

    58. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons, by Lynda Madaras

    59. The Anarchist Cookbook, by William Powell

    60. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume

    61. Boys and Sex, by Wardell Pomeroy

    62. Crazy Lady, by Jane Conly

    63. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher

    64. Killing Mr. Griffin, by Lois Duncan

    65. Fade, by Robert Cormier

    66. Guess What?, by Mem Fox

    67. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

    68. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

    69. Native Son by Richard Wright

    70. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies, by Nancy Friday

    71. Curses, Hexes and Spells, by Daniel Cohen

    72. On My Honor, by Marion Dane Bauer

    73. The House of Spirits, by Isabel Allende

    74. Jack, by A.M. Homes

    75. Arizona Kid, by Ron Koertge

    76. Family Secrets, by Norma Klein

    77. Mommy Laid An Egg, by Babette Cole

    78. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo A. Anaya

    79. Where Did I Come From?, by Peter Mayle

    80. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline Cooney

    81. Carrie, by Stephen King

    82. The Dead Zone, by Stephen King

    83. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain

    84. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison

    85. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez

    86. Private Parts, by Howard Stern

    87. Where's Waldo?, by Martin Hanford

    88. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene

    89. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume

    90. Little Black Sambo, by Helen Bannerman

    91. Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett

    92. Running Loose, by Chris Crutcher

    93. Sex Education, by Jenny Davis

    94. Jumper, by Steven Gould

    95. Christine, by Stephen King

    96. The Drowning of Stephen Jones, by Bette Greene

    97. That Was Then, This is Now, by S.E. Hinton

    98. Girls and Sex, by Wardell Pomeroy

    99. The Wish Giver, by Bill Brittain

    100. Jump Ship to Freedom, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Since I am in-between reading challenges (found in my sidebar), I am reading one book off from the list above.

Lemme think which one. Hmm. I have highlighted in
bold the ones I have already read. I have the HP series lined-up for another challenge so I am choosing The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

I picked this book because it was just there lying amongst the pile of unread books in my table. Despite being awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Awards, this book always has a spot in the top 100 of most frequently challenged books. According to ALA, this book was challenged due to explicit content, particularly in terms of violence.

Here are more links about
Banned and Challenged Books:


Abaniko said...

I counted the number of books I've read in the list - 8! Including The Color Purple. Hay, so many books to read, so little time.

Francesca Ivy said...

@ABANIKO, I read 14 naman from the list. I definitely agree on your last statement...

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It is always refreshing to know what is in your mind. Thanks!


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