Monday, June 02, 2008

Banned books

This list of the ten most challenged books in the US comes from the American Library Association's Banned Books Week website. Each September, they celebrate the freedom to read. It is one of the most important freedoms that humanity possesses.

Recidivists will always try to restrict the flourishing of the human mind. For some people, it appears that the only freedom that subsists is their own freedom to preach to other people how to live their lives. Such people must be resisted. The list of 2007 challenged books is:

1. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3. “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language

4. “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint

5. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
Reasons: Racism

6. “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7. “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit

9. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Off the list this year, are two books by author Toni Morrison. "The Bluest Eye" and "Beloved," both challenged for sexual content and offensive language.

Interesting that Huck Finn is there. I've just finished reading it tonight, by coincidence, and what a marvellous, free-spirited, joyful book it is. Anyone who thinks it is racist simply hasn't read it.

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