I'm a Reader *edited*

*edit*  Kristin pointed out that I had merely put up the list of the Radcliff Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th century, many of which have not been banned or challenged.  I edited the list to only include the banned/challenged books.  (and didn't bother re-numbering because I'm lazy)

I didn't know there was a Banned Books Week until I saw another blog post about it.  Taking the cue I thought it would be interesting to see how many of the books that have been banned I've read.  In other words, I have nothing to blog about so enjoy the list...


These are books banned in 2009-2010 as reported on the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom from May 2009 to May 2010.  I've only listed the few that I've read as many of them seem to be how-to se.x books, tee hee.  Still, I'm surprised by at least one of the entries.  My peanut gallery remarks are in italics. 

Angelou, Maya; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - This one is always controversial.  I read it in High School English as a junior.  Our teacher also had us read Toni Morrison and was obviously trying to get us sheltered private-school girls to broaden our understanding of the world.  Honestly, it was a good departure from the typical classics read in high school. 

Restricted to students with parental permission at the Ocean View School District middle school libraries in Huntington Beach, Calif. (2009) because the “book’s contents were inappropriate for children.” Challenged in the Newman-Crows Landing, Calif. School District (2009) on a required reading list presented by the Orestimba High English Department. A trustee questioned the qualifications of Orestimba staff to teach a novel depicting African American culture. Source: Jan. 2010 

Frank, Anne; Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl - Can't remember if I read on my own or in school, probably on my own as I'm that much of a nerd.  This one is surprising to me only because in my world it's always been touted as a must read. 

Challenged at the Culpeper County, Va. public school (2010) by a parent requesting that her daughter not be  required to read the book aloud. Initially, it was reported that offi cials have decided to stop assigning a  version of Anne Frank’s diary, one of the most enduring symbols of the atrocities of the Nazi regime, due to the complaint that the book includes sexual material and homosexual themes. The director of instruction announced the edition, published on the fiftieth anniversary of Frank’s death in a concentration camp, will not be used in the future despite the fact the school system did not follow its own policy for handling complaints.  The remarks set off a hailstorm of criticism online and brought international attention to the 7,600-student school system in rural Virginia. The superintendent said, however, that the book will remain a part of the English classes, although it may be taught at a different grade level.

Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff;  Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary - OMG, areyoukiddingme??
 

Pulled from the Menifee, Calif. Union School District (2010) because a parent complained when a child came across the term “oral sex.” Officials said the district is forming a committee to consider a permanent classroom ban of the dictionary.

Meyer, Stephenie H.; Tw.ilight series - This makes me laugh.  I suppose for younger kids as the primary school students mentioned here the themes are too adult.  But jeez, these books are seriously sanitized as far as vamp.ires go.  I recently read the first two books of Vampire Dia.ries (written years before Twi.light btw) and those books are much more racy (and well-written).

Banned in Australia (2009) for primary school students because the series is too racy. Librarians have stripped the books from shelves in some junior schools because they believe the content is too sexual and goes against religious beliefs. They even have asked parents not to let kids bring their own copies of Stephenie Meyer’s smash hit novels — which explore the stormy love affair between a teenage girl and a vampire — to school. 

Walls, Jeannette; The Glass Castle: A Memoir -  This one makes me especially sad.  Not because of the book which I thought was interesting and good but probably not in my top 5.  It makes me sad that this is a high school honors program.  As far as I'm concerned by the time you get to high school honors the material should be challenging to the kids and should encompass a broad variety of subjects.  

Challenged at the William S. Hart Union High School District in Saugus, Calif. (2009) as required summer reading for the honors English program. The 2005 memoir chronicles the author’s harsh childhood and family life and includes profanity, criticisms of Christianity, and accounts of sexual abuse and prostitution. Students have the option of alternative assignments that still meet objectives and teaching goals. 

 Here are classics that have been banned or challenged:  How many have you read?

1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald - read
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger - read
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck - read
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding - read
9. 1984, by George Orwell - read, love it!

11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
-
read
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller - One of my favorites
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
-
read, liked it, very freaky
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway

23. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston - think I've read...hmm...
24. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son, by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway

33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London

36. Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
38. All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren
40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
45. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair - read
48. Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
50. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin

53. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote   
55. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
57. Sophie's Choice, by William Styron
64. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
66. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles - read multiple times, really like it. 

73. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs

74. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence

80. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
84. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
88. An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
97. Rabbit, Run, by John Updike


That's it kids, time to get back to work.  I've got some great book club ideas now!