Every book on this top 10 "banned books" list was either written for or about kids and teens. Note the 'reasons' cited reflect not so much the books' content but the prejudices of (and lack of careful reading by) the challengers.
The top ten most frequently challenged books of 2014 are:
1) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”
2) Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”
3) And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”
4) The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”
5) It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”
6) Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. Additional reasons:
7) The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence
8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”
9) A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group
10) Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit
The American Library Association's Office For Intellectual Freedom estimates "that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported."
Now here's the great story: Parents in Idaho successfully got "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" removed from their school's curriculum.
In response, a group of students circulated a petition to bring it back. They got 350 teen signatures. Then they teamed up with their local bookstore and did a crowd-funding project to raise the money to buy a copy of Sherman Alexie's book for every teen on that list of 350. They raised the money!
When some of the parents found out about the books being given away for free, they called the police. The police came to the bookstore during the give-away, but weren't really sure what do to, and the free book hand-out continued.
When Hachette (Alexie's publisher) found out about this, they sent an additional 350 copies of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" to the bookstore, so any teen can walk in and get the book for free.
Cheers for the freedom to read!
Illustrate and Write On,