Banned Books Week

Next week is Banned Books Week again; the annual event that “celebrates the freedom to read and reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.”

Once again, Harry Potter tops the list of most challenged books. That’s four years in a row! Sadly, I have not made any improvments in my score on the top 100 banned books list since last year when I mentioned it (other than keeping up with the Potters, of course). Maybe I’ll try to get through some of this year’s top 10:

  • Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling, for its focus on wizardry and magic.
  • Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, for being sexually explicit, using offensive language and being unsuited to age group.
  • “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier (the “Most Challenged” book of 1998), for using offensive language and being unsuited to age group.
  • “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, for sexual content, racism, offensive language, violence and being unsuited to age group.
  • “Taming the Star Runner” by S.E. Hinton, for offensive language.
  • “Captain Underpants” by Dav Pilkey, for insensitivity and being unsuited to age group, as well as encouraging children to disobey authority.
  • “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, for racism, insensitivity and offensive language.
  • “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson, for offensive language, sexual content and Occult/Satanism.
  • “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred D. Taylor, for insensitivity, racism and offensive language.
  • “Julie of the Wolves” by Julie Craighead George, for sexual content, offensive language, violence and being unsuited to age group.

Oh wait! I’ve read the Captain Underpants books, thanks to my seven year old. At this point, I’m happy to encourage him to read even if it requires doses of Booger Boy and Hairy Potty…

(That ALA press release URL is ugly; if it stops working, you can get there via http://www.ala.org/bbooks/ )

posted at 5:14 pm on Thursday, September 11, 2003 in Books | Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Jeff K says:

    I’m surprised there aren’t many challenges based on legal grounds such as defamation, trade secrets, historical inaccuracies, copyright violations etc. Most of the challenges are by parents through schools or school libraries. Truly pathetic. …or telling.

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