1.Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
2.The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
3.The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
4.Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
5.The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
6.A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
7.Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
8.The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
9.Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
10.Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence
As a reader, as a writer, as a mother of 4...hell, as an American, I get truly offended when other people try to control what anyone can read! If you choose not to read something, that's your business. But you have no right to tell me I can't read it. If you want to raise your children with blinders on, only seeing what you want them to, have at it, but I will remind you there's this uncontrollable thing called "the internet". But you have no right to tell me that MY kids can't read those books. I chose to expose them to new ideas often, in order for them to learn how to discern truth from lies, and to formulate their own opinions.
The strength of American is that we have individual rights written into our Constitution. I may have neighbors on either side of me who are from a different race from me, who speak a language other than English at home, who eat/dress/worship differently from me, and who raise their children their own way. But we can be good neighbors, keeping an eye on each others' houses when we go on vacation, loaning a cup of sugar, etc. Their freedom ends when they try to come into my yard and tell me I have to live like them, and my freedom ends when I try to go into their yards and tell them they need to live like me.
So strike a blow for freedom this week! And every other week of the year, for that matter. Read something that others may find objectionable and decide for yourself how you feel about it. Some of the books on the list are not very well-written, but all have struck someone as "dangerous" at some time. I read book number 3, by Sherman Alexie, and I'm so glad I did! I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me. A very well-written book giving voice to a culture not very well understood even in their native land. Did it have offensive language? That's in the ear of the listener. Does it have violence? Yes, but it's an integral part of the story. Would I let teenagers read it? Hell-to-the-yeah! No more swearing than what's playing in their IPods, and no more violence than what's on the news everyday.
Don't ban books, read them with your kids and talk about them!
I'll end with an appropriate quote from the master Ray Bradbury, author of the prescient novel, Fahrenheit 451.
You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.
Just get people to stop reading them.
I'd love to hear what you think. And please share any titles you've enjoyed that might invite being banned. Often those are the most interesting!