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Rated: E · Essay · Entertainment · #2139754
The American Library Association tracks requests to ban books.
The American Library Association tracks requests to ban books. Sure, I think we can all agree that the Kama Sutra would be inappropriate for a grade-school library, even though it could be considered a picture book. But what if your local public library removed all copies of Brave New World, The Color Purple, Twilight, the Bible, and the Harry Potter Series?

Would you speak up?

The LA Times reported that Accomack County school district in Virginia is considering removing copies of To Kill A Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from their libraries because one parent objected to the use of the N-word in these books. [ http://www.latimes.com/books/la-et-jc-mockingbird-ban-20161205-story.html ] Has this parent been in a school lately? Or listened to rap music? The casual use of the N-word among blacks makes me wonder who is still offended?

Just for the record, I am offended by the word. But then, I was alive when the word was used as an insult and not as a term of endearment. In the historical stories above, the characters who use the N-word are portrayed as severely uneducated or hateful, so why not use these stories to teach children about why it was used and why we shouldn’t use it now? Shall we let political correctness or the opinion of one person dictate what the rest of us should think or read?

Shall we return to wearing corsets and covering our ankles if a small segment of society decided to return to the good old Victorian era dictates of decency? Why not let the tail wag the dog and surrender to every segment of society’s whims and sensibilities?

I am speaking up because even though a book might offend me to the core, I don’t expect the world to kneel to my feelings. I’m a grown up. I can survive being offended.

The Bible is banned or heavily restricted to own in these countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, China (People's Republic), Comoros, Djibouti, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen. I can’t recall extremist Christian-led riots, bombings, or other acts of terrorism endangering any governments, but hey, they run their countries their way.

In America, we like the freedom to read whatever we want. If we don’t like a book, we don’t burn it. We don’t threaten the author and publisher. We just don’t buy it. We use the power of the free market to support the books we enjoy and treasure. We post negative reviews or ignore the books that offend us.

To celebrate the 2017 Banned Books Week, I encourage you to look through the list of the top banned or challenged books from 2000 to 2009. The list was compiled by the American Library Association.
[ http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/top-100-bannedchallenged-books-2000-2009 ]

How many of these books have you read? What’s your rebel reader score?

1 to 25 books – Streak of rebellion reader
26 to 50 books – Proud rebel reader
51 to 75 books – Rockstar rebel reader
76 to 100 – full-fledged freedom fighter rebel reader

The List:
1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

Thank your librarian for standing up to your right to read. Let’s keep our freedom to read alive by speaking up against book banning.

© Copyright 2017 Joni M. Fisher (jonimfisher at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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