Each year, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools.
The ALA actively condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information, which is certainly something to celebrate during Banned Books Week, September 27 to October 3, 2015.
According to the ALA’s methodology, a challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The ALA reminds us that the number of challenges reflects only incidents reported; it is estimated that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported.
In “honor” of Banned Books Week, here is the ALA’s list of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2014:
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, violence and “depictions of bullying”)
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint; also, “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”)
- And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (reasons: anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, “promotes the homosexual agenda”)
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (reasons: sexually explicit, “contains controversial issues”)
- It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris (reasons: nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, “alleges child pornography”)
- Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples (reasons: anti-family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit)
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (reasons: offensive language, violence)
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, date rape and masturbation)
- A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard (reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit)
- Drama by Raina Telgemeier (reason: sexually explicit)
How many of these banned books have you read?