Celebrate Banned Books Week 2010

Celebrate Banned Books Week 2010

The American Library Association (ALA) has been celebrating Banned Books Week during last week of September since 1982. Libraries, schools and bookstores across the country are encouraged to celebrate intellectual freedom.

Last year there were 460 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom. ALA estimates the majority of challenges are not reported.

The Iowa City Public Library is hosting Intellectual Freedom Fest, starting Thursday, September 23. Many of the events go beyond banned books. On Friday, September 24, LISSO will meet at the library to attend a screening of Copyright Criminals, a documentary created by UI Professor Kembrew McLeod. The film starts at 6 p.m.

According to the Office of Intellectual Freedom, the top 10 most challenged titles of 2009 were:

  • ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, drugs,
    and unsuited to age group
  • And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually
    explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: racism, offensive language, unsuited to age group
  • Twilight (series), by Stephanie Meyer
    Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  • Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    Reasons: sexaully explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  • My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
    Reasons: sexism, homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group, drugs, suicide, violence
  • The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
    Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group
  • The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
    Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group
  • The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

Check out a map of challenged book cases documented by ALA and the Kids' Right to Read Project, a collaboration of the National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.

Find out why many books are banned or challenged, according to a recent American Libraries article.