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6/28/2005

The top 100 banned books

For various reasons, some books are looked at as being unacceptable to read in certain locations, schools, churches, homes. Here is a list of the top 100 banned books according to the ALA (American Library Association) from 1990-2000.

I must add that I've read many of these books, and consider some to be among the best books I've ever read. I'm not trying to promote an uprising, but just point out something I found while surfing. We say we live in a country that is free, yet...

Also, from the ALA website, which I found this at, a quote from author Judy Blume>

It's not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.”

Here is the list of the top 15...

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris

the rest can be found on this page:

6 Comments:

At 3:41 AM, Blogger Pammu said...

I don't think that Judy Blume will have to worry about "unwritten" (or unpublished, for that matter) books. Banning books can only boost redearship (if not sales, heh), and I am so grieved that there are about a hundred or so banned books.

 
At 7:52 AM, Blogger Tachizuno said...

It's interesting to see how many of these top banned books are also on the list of the top 100 books for kids, which I'll be posting in a few days.

Thanks for your input.

 
At 10:11 PM, Blogger Kris said...

I think it's important to note that the books on the list were "challenged" and not necessarily banned.

I thoroughly searched the website and was unable to find a list of books which were actually banned. I did find this quote: "It is thanks to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, and students that most challenges are unsuccessful..." Which means most of those books were NOT banned, but remain on the library shelves. Also, most of the challenges came from parents to books in public school libraries.

Surely no one is suggesting that any and all written material is suitable for children?

I do agree that many of the books that were challenged are great books. Many of my favorites are on the list. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is my college-aged son's all-time favorite book and I'm glad it was in the school library.

I think the real issue is who should decide which books to put on the shelves. Teachers and librarians seem to think they are the only ones who should decide which books are appropriate and for which age groups. They don't want anyone to "challenge" their decisions. Many parents feel differently. A power struggle ensues. I think a parent should have the right to "challenge" whether a book should be in a public school library or not. I think it's a sign of a healthy democracy when we the people continue to have the right to question our government.

I'm sorry about another long-winded comment! I really like your site!

 
At 11:45 PM, Blogger Tachizuno said...

Kris, I appreciate all that you have to say. I feel the same way, but you just explained it better than I did. I agree that they weren't necessarily banned, but highly criticized anyway.

yes, To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite books too, and there are tons on that list of books that I regard very highly.

The books have been banned in certain places though.

 
At 12:31 AM, Blogger Kris said...

I have heard about lists of banned books and believe that books have been removed, but I just haven't been able to actually find such a list.

Most people seem to equate "challenged books" with banned books and when I really dig deep to find the titles of the banned books, I come to a dead end.

Do you know of a resource that has those statistics. I would be very curious to know.

I do think that the bottom line is that it's the parent's responsibility to decide what is and isn't appropriate for their own child. I have no desire to censor what other children read, but have a vested interest in what my own children read.

Frankly, once my boys reached about 9th grade, I let them read whatever they chose, with the exception of commercial pornography.

The only book I have refused to read to my 5-year-old so far has been "Matilda" by Roald Dahl. We had already finished many of his books, which she loved, but I had to stop in the middle of this one and put it down. I just couldn't stomach the underlying themes of graphic parental and institutional abuse followed by Matilda's intricate plans for revenge.

It is ultimately my responsibility to know and monitor what my children are reading. (And watching and listening to for that matter). I have found that having deep conversations with my children while I read the same possibly controversial book they are reading goes a long way in their understanding of life issues.

For instance, although I belive in God, the Creator of the Universe, I have already touched on the subject of evolution with my 5-year-old. Ignorance does not lead to deeper faith or a better education.

I think the greatest books are those that provoke and engage the reader in a conversation of ideas with the author. We don't have to agree with every idea of every author to appreciate and learn from the conversation.

If you can't tell, I absolutely love books! I use a literature-based homeschool curriculum that includes very few textbooks and many of the books on the "challenged" list.

Well, I got long-winded again. I don't know if it's the mark of a writer or the mark of a sleepy adult with severe ADD.

I like exchanging thoughts and ideas with other people. I think that's why I so easily became addicted to blogging!

Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings! I'll be back!

 
At 4:19 AM, Blogger Kate said...

Scary Stories. I remember that book, the one with the worms come in, the worms go out rhyme. Totally disgusting but cool when you are like 8 years old. Freaky in a good way. Interesting to see the entire book list; but there seem to be some books (I can't remember the names off the top of my head) that didn't seem appropriate for a young child anyways, as in I think the material would be over their heads, not offensive of ife-altering. I also remember having the chance to read The Chocolate War in the 3rd grade and also I am The Cheese, but found them boring at the time. I wonder if I would like them now any better.

 

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