Monday, 27 September 2010

Banned Books Week September 25th - October 2nd 2010

It's that time of year again - Banned Books week.

And as always I'm kind of left wishing that I'd read more of the books that are or have been banned.

The 2009 top ten list of frequently challenged books on the ALA website can be found here.

And the top 100 most frequently challenged books from 2000 - 2009 can be found on the ALA website here.

I have only read a few of the books on these lists, to give me a wider range of banned books that I've read I have to look back to the top 100 of 1990 - 1999, and to the banned and challenged classics list .

Ironically when I read these lists most of the banned books I've read, I read whilst I was at school as part of my English lessons - 1984, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm, The Pigman. And more recently as part of my English Lit. course - The Color Purple.

Others are books that I just loved from my childhood - Charlotte's Web, The Wind in the Willows, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings, Winnie the Pooh.

And from my teen years when I was a bit of a Stephen King fan - Cujo, The Dead Zone, Christine. I find it almost amusing in a way that the list has changed over the past two decades from challenging Stephen King to challengine Stephenie Meyer. It's also interesting when you look at the most frequently challenged authors lists by year to see both P.C.Cast and Richelle Mead there for 2009. Presumably both for their young adult urban fantasy series.

To try and rectify what I feel is a lack in my reading repertoire next year one of my challenges is going to be to read 12 banned books. I think I should be able to manage at least one a month.

So have you read any banned books this year? Or do you have a favourite book that is on a banned books list? I have a copy of the Anthology Love at First Bite to give away to one poster to this thread. Not a banned book but I'm afraid I don't have any banned books to give away. Winner to be picked by random number at next Saturday.


Sullivan McPig said...

Charlotte's Web and Winnie the Pooh are on a banned list? Why?

I must confess I think banning books is madness anyway, but I really can't think of anything what can people have against these books.

When Harry Potter was popular here in the Netherlands there was a vicar who held a special Harry Potter sermon. I think it was a brilliant idea as he got a full church that day, but he got in trouble with the church counsil over it as they thought Harry Potter was evil. Again: Madness.

Chris said...

Not entering.

Y'know, I'm willing to bet that virtually all of what I've been reading would be banned, if it was available in libraries. The YA gay lit that I have checked out of the library - not seeing it on the lists at ALA, but...

LesleyW said...

Sullivan - I think Charlotte's Web was challenged because it features talking animals (the same reason Alice in Wonderland is challenged). I'm not sure about Winnie the Pooh. Harry Potter is also among the frequently challenged books.

Chris - I guess a lot of it is to do with what is shelved in school libraries?

Nicole said...

I was disappointed by how few of the current banned books list I've read, too. Though many of the ones I have read were also from my school years. I think a trip to the library to borrow a banned book needs to happen this week

Morning Glow from Novel Addiction said...

I have read the dictionary, and a LOT of people challenge/ban that book. Isn't that awful?

As well as Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, Winnie the Pooh, and the His Dark Materials series. I know there has been more.. but I figured I would just list a few.

LesleyW said...

Nicole - I am definitely going to make a concerted effort to read more of the books on the list.

Morning Glow - it's hard to believe that some of those books have been challenged/banned isn't it?