Thursday, April 14, 2016

Most Challenged Books Listed By American Library Association

The A to Z Challenge takes us on a journey through the month of April. We write Monday through Saturday and take Sunday off. Hence, 26 days and 26 letters of the alphabet. Come in and see what snippet I'm sharing with you today.


MOST CHALLENGED BOOKS OF 2015

This week is National Library Week (April 10-16). One of my favorites things to do, when I was a child, and now, was go to the library. I don't go as much since I have gotten my Nook Color! I need a visit once again!

Interesting to me this week was the list of Most Challenged Books of 2015. I will list these books here for you!

1)Looking for Alaska by John Green. This book was singled out for offensive language, sexual explicitness, and being unsuitable for teens. This book has been on the list before and then dropped off last year only to be added again this year. 

2)Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. This doesn't surprise me, does it you? The book was challenged for its sexual explicitness, unsuitability for age group, and that it is poorly written. This book was on the list in 2012 and 2013, then dropped off. Back again this year!!

3)I am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings. This book tells the story of a trans-gender child and her difficulties. The book was challenged for it's inaccuracies, homosexuality, and sex education challenges.

4)Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin. Challengers call this book anti-family and cites its views on homosexuality.

5)The Curious Incident of the dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon. This is a story told from a teenager view about autism. It is challenged for its language and its suitability for its age group.

6) The Holy Bible. This is the first time the Bible has been on this list!! The challenge is for its religious viewpoint.


7)Fun Home by Allison Benchdel. This is a graphic novel talking about what growing up with a sexually closeted father was like. The book is challenged for violence and graphic images.

8)Habbibi by Craig Thompson is another graphic novel which focuses on the Islamic culture and two slave children. It is challenged for nudity and sexual content.

9)Nasreen's Secret School:A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter. The book is aimed at kids aged 6-9 and tells the story of a little girl's life after the takeover of the Taliban in 1999. It was challenged for religious viewpoint and unsuitability for this age group. 

10)Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. The book was challenged for its depiction of homosexuality.


I found this to be a fascinating list. With the exception of The Holy Bible, I haven't read any of the other books. But, now, I want to. I am not in favor of censoring books. I think books that are in libraries where young people can have full access to them should be monitored. But that is up to a parent, in my opinion. This years list seems to focus on homosexuality and religion, which are both hot topics in todays world. I probably wouldn't have a problem with Darian and Harley reading any of these books if they wanted to. I would certainly look through the book first. What are your feelings about challenged or censored books? Doesn't it just make you more want to read it? Have you read any of these on the 2015 Challenged List?






38 comments:

  1. There are some books on the list I would not choose to read because they wouldn't be my choice. The key is: that's my choice. I think banning them or putting them on a list like you wrote about has opposite affect for which the list(s) are intended. It draws more attention to the books than they might have initially gotten. I wouldn't mind a standardized rating system like movies and television programs, but banning, no.

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    1. I totally agree with you Gram! These lists do just that...they make the books more attractive to those who may not have read them in the first place!

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  2. Of course read the Bible, interesting it made the list but I guess I am not surprised considering the times we live in. I am with you, I don't like censoring, but would definitely encourage parents to check out books their kids are reading, especially younger children. Could open up lots of conversations I would imagine.

    Betty

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    1. I was surprised at the Bible being on the list too! But then there is so much controversy in today's world about religion!

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  3. Hi Paula - I wouldn't read any of them ... except the Bible and the Curious Incidence of the Night Dog - it's a brilliant book ... as too is Stuart a Life Lived Backwards ...

    Some of them would be interesting I'm sure - and I've read 'similar' concepts/books from amongst blogging friends ... and if I had a need - I would read them ... even to garner some (early) information ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Many of them would be books to gain more information on a subject if you were interested in that subject.

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  4. I have, of course, read the Bible and I have also read 50 Shades of Gray (all 3 of them) I liked them and failed to see what all the hullabaloo was about. Of course I read Fear of Flying back in the 80's and it was pretty explicit itself, perhaps even more explicit that the Gray trilogy. I agree that it is up to the parents to censor their child's reading material and if you are an adult you can make your own decisions without the help of a "watchdog" group.

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    1. LOL! Fear of Flying, I remember that controversy! Watch Dog groups are not needed for me either!

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  5. I've read several of the books on the list. I think people need to get over themselves. It's a BOOK!

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    1. Exactly my point in this post, Kwiz!

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  6. I haven't read or even heard of many on the lists, except for the bible and Fifty Shades, of course. I think the funniest comment about Fifty Shades is "...that it is poorly written".
    I would say that the 125 million people who bought the book probably didn't care about that.
    I'm not sure how I feel about books being challenged or banned. Movies and TV shows are rated. Perhaps that would be the better way to go with books instead of challenging or banning them.

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    1. I laughed when I read that comment too Lyndagrace. It would be great to have a rating for books. Many times it is not the subject matter that turns me off but the unnecessary use of bad language to get a point across.

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  7. Paula, thanks for listing these. I get Fifth Shades ... it's not suitable for a lot of readers. But isn't it interesting that some of the poorest writing is rewarded by having the most readers!

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  8. Well I have read the Bible. But not cover to cover. I haven't read any of the others but definitely agree with some of the other comments that this list just draws attention to the books and not in a good way. I think it's fine to have warnings on books but it's up to the reader to decide if a book upsets them.

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    1. Exactly what I think! I usually read a few reviews before I read a book anyway!

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  9. No censorship! Drive me nuts. Let people make their own decisions- who are they to decide for us?! The Bible being on that list burns me up. Why isn't the QURAN on the list then?!

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    1. Oh good question, Holli!! Good question!!

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  10. I am very anti-censorship and actually take a little bit of delight in the fact that these lists so often call attention to books that the public might otherwise hear about it. These groups often produce the exact opposite of the effect they intend to have.

    I was surprised about The Curious Incident... being cited based on not being age appropriate since I was under the impression it was an adult book. I have read and enjoyed that. Read and very much enjoyed Fun Home. Also read Fifty Shades after a great deal of "peer pressure" from a friend. I reviewed it on my blog. I was not a fan, to say the least, but did not find it offensive--or at least not offensive for any of the reasons cited. :)

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    1. I haven't read that book so I don't know! It is supposed to have been a teenagers point of view I thought! I can imagine that Fun Home would probably have some good content though. I doubt that I will read 50 Shades. Just not my genre!

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  11. I'm anti-censorship. I'm surprised that the bible is on the list. If the bible, then why not the Koran?
    These lists make me want to read the books...and I think that's the effect the lists have on most people...

    Thanks for providing the list! Now I'm do for a trip to the library...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I have wondered about the Koran too. Or any of the other religious bibles! Who's to know?

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  12. I may be WAY off-base here, but this smells a little like McCarthyism. (Not that I'm old enough to remember it. LOL!)
    Aside from the Bible, there's nothing on this list that interests me. I agree, censure breeds curiosity.

    PS - A few years ago we were mandated to remove all Holy Bibles from our guests' rooms ... so as not to offend anyone. (Grrrr.) Instead, we could have a few available at the front desk if anyone requested that, or (get this!) a Quran.

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    1. I have noticed that when staying in hotels now...the Bibles are gone! Crazy

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  13. Haven't read any of these newer books, but I do understand the Bible being on the list. When I was 14 I asked for a Bible for Christmas. At the time, Catholics were not supposed to read the Bible on their own (pre-Vatican II). I started at the beginning and it wasn't long before I told my folks I was not reading any more pornography. I mean there is stuff in the Bible that is just not so pure. Daughters sleeping with fathers? Uh, uh.

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    1. My grandkids and I often talk about the Old Testament and how some of the things that happen just don't seem appropriate. I have read it front to back. This year I am reading in chronological order.

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  14. I haven't read any of those, but I've heard of many of them. The other day I was surprised to get a notice for a student at school from the library. It told the boy he could check out a specific book. He had to get parental permission due to the content of the book (I forget which book, but it wasn't on this list). I thought this was really cool--rather than keeping the book out of the library, they just put a policy into place where those books could get checked out.

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    1. I think that is a better way of handling it. I just look it over and decide whether I think they can deal with the content or if we will need to talk about it more!

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  15. Excellent post, thank you. I would not read 50 Shades - only because I have tried and had to stop. Many look intriguing, books with something to learn from, perhaps.

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    1. I think many of them sound good too. I, too, am not interested in 50 Shades

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  16. I think that the more a book is censored, the more curiosity it creates. It's better for people to decide for themselves what they should or should not read.

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  17. I'm not for banning books. When I was growing up my mother's theory was reading anything was better than not reading. That said we went to the library a lot and she looked at what I was reading, but I was also permitted comic books and movie magazines. I probably read much more about Hollywood scandals than most third graders, but I'm not sure I was damaged in any way. I also learned a lot about movies, an interest that has stayed with me.

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    1. I don't like the idea of banning books. But I do hope parents, at least, monitor their kids choices!

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  18. I have read the Bible a couple of times and studied each Book Chapter by Chapter. I read the first Fifty Shades...just not the kind of book I like to read.
    I think the other books are a sign of the times...that Jazz gal was on TV...cannot say I liked her show.
    I guess it takes all kinds of authors:)

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    1. It does! I haven't read any of them either. Except the Bible. I enjoy reading the Bible!

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I love to hear what you might think. Leave me a comment. I guarantee though that I will delete your comment if you are just here to cause trouble. So tread lightly!