Banned Books Week! (Ends Today!)

If you are like most of the writers here on the Jeffersonian, you love a good book. Literature is what makes the soul churn, not to mention how your vocabulary grows. But the question is: What makes a story… good? Worthy? Meaningful? This week, as you may know, is BANNED BOOKS WEEK, (September 21 – 27, 2014) a promotion of ‘classic’, ‘timeless’, ‘well written’,  and ‘prestigious’ novels and pieces that are supposedly “Banned” because of a variety of factors – explicit ideas, content, etc. The idea, now widely popular, is supposed to expose  great tales that sometimes, because of their banishment, don’t get proper recognition. Though there are hundreds and hundreds of banned and challenged works out there, the American Library Association put together this list (very publicly) of top 10 most challenged/banned books… ever.

  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

What do you think of BANNED BOOKS? Have you read any? Comment below, and let us know what you think!



2 thoughts on “Banned Books Week! (Ends Today!)

  1. Just recently, I read ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margret Atwood – (among countless others…) Phenomenal book, yet it’s banned because of it’s whole storyline. I think the entire purpose of the book was to prove a revolutionary point, weather it’s “explicit” or not. Books are a work of art – if the artist intended for their piece to be a certain way, why ban it?
    When I was doing research into the banning of books themselves, the criteria, to me, was sometimes absurd. Captain Underpants is banned because of “violence”? I guess the flip-o-ramas are too much for 5-year-olds to handle?
    I believe in banned books, 100%!

  2. So often books get placed on “banned” lists because of fear. Someone may be afraid that an idea may change the status quo or be a threat to their way of life. It is in the controversy that the value lies. It can open dialogue and create discussion. Any kind of art is dialogue.

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