Today we continue our Banned Books Week coverage. Banned Books Week is a time to highlight the number of books that people try to remove from the shelves of classrooms and school and public libraries, and to celebrate how often these efforts fail. All week we'll be looking at what books people think you shouldn't be reading.
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. After getting kicked out of prep school, Holden spends a few days hiding from his parents in New York city, decrying the phonies in his life. It's over 50 years old, but it was still one of the most frequently banned and challenged books in 2009, 2005, and 2001 for offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Anna was born to be Kate's genetic match--Anna was born to be a donor of blood, bone marrow, and whatever else was needed to save her older sister's life. But now Kate needs a kidney, and Anna is 13 and wants some control over what happens to her body, and when. This was one of the most frequently banned and challenged books in 2009 for homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence.
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler. Virginia doesn't fit into her high-achieving picture perfect family. Her older siblings have moved out and she's stuck at home with her overbearing parents, feeling worse and worse about herself. But when her older brother is accused of a crime, she starts to realize some truths about herself, and her family. This Printz honor book was among the most frequently banned and challenged books in 2009 and 2006 for offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. When Jerry refuses to sell chocolates for the annual school fundraiser, his actions set off a battle of wills and chain of events he never could have forseen. This award-winning classic was one of the most frequently banned and challenged books in 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, and 2001 for nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.
His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon are caught in an epic adventure to save the universe and stop the Magistrium from destroying the Dust. Ok, it's more complicated than that, but hard to explain in a few sentences. This omnibus edition contains all three books. This series were some of the most frequently banned and challenged books in 2008 and 2007 for political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence.
Flashcards of My Life by Charise Mericle Harper. Emily is trying to navigate a mother who is always on a diet and fighting with her father, and friends who don't get along. Add in a major crush and... well, it's not easy. She never manages to keep a journal like her Aunt Chester thinks she should, so Aunt Chester sends her "Flashcards of my Life" flashcards with headings like "friends" "kisses" "embarrassments." It's a project Em thinks she can handle. This was one of the most frequently banned and challenged books in 2008 for being sexually explicit and unsuited to age group.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Huck Finn is running away, and taking a runaway slave, Jim, with him. Together the two float on a raft down the Mississippi trying to find freedom. This classic was one of the most frequently banned and challenged books in 2007 and 2002 for racism and offensive language.
Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories by Chris Crutcher. This book collects six tales of student athletes and the issues they deal with or see in the world around them. Many feature characters fans will know from his novels. This was one of the most frequently banned and challenged books in 2006 for homosexuality and offensive language.
Forever . . . by Judy Blume. When Katherine and Michael meet, they know they're in love. Seniors in high school, everything's changing, but they know they'll be together forever. A modern classic, this was one of the most frequently banned and challenged books in 2005 for offensive language, sexual content.
What are your favorite banned books?
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