Banned Books Week

So this week is BBW, sponsored by the American Library Association for the 25th year. From the ALA:

BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

In 2005, the most challenged book was: It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie Harris. Unsurprisingly, it was challenged due to "sexual content". Actually, if you read the Amazon reviews, you can see one person call it "too graphic" and that kids "don't need to know everything before they're teenagers". I'm guessing that person doesn't have a copy of Harris' other book, It's So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families, which also made it into the Top 10 of challenged books (BTW, we own this one and it is a wonderful book if anyone is looking for this kind of book for their family).

The Top 10 List of Challenged Books for 2005 are:

* It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris (for homosexuality, nudity, sex education, religious viewpoint, abortion and being unsuited to age group);
* Forever by Judy Blume (for sexual content and offensive language);
* The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (for sexual content, offensive language and being unsuited to age group);
* The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (for sexual content and offensive language);
* Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher (for racism and offensive language);
* Detour for Emmy by Marilyn Reynolds (for sexual content);
* What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones (for sexual content and being unsuited to age group);
* Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey (for anti-family content, being unsuited to age group and violence);
* Crazy Lady! by Jane Leslie Conly (for offensive languag); and
* It's So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families by Robie Harris (for sex education and sexual content).

We also have many of the Captain Underpants books thanks to our six-year-old and, well, I find them goofy but anti-family? WTF? And, of course, we also have the books that hold the top spot for the Top 10 Challenged of the 21st Century: the Harry Potter series.

Google has a banned books page set up within their book search feature: Celebrate Your Freedom to Read. Also, go here to vote for your favorite banned book.

"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."—Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

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