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April 9, 2012
It's National Library Week, Time To Ban the Books
The American Library Association publishes its list of most challenged books in 2011 coinciding with National Library Week:
- ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
- The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
- The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
- My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
- Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
- Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
- What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
- Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
- To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
So any kid with $12 can see the Hunger Games movie, but it should be banned? And To Kill a Mockingbird? Seriously? The number of parodies of the book and movie transcend popular culture. And people still want to keep it out of libraries? Amazing that the book has that much staying power when it comes to censorship attempts. Catcher In the Rye must be quaint by today's standards. [MG]
Homosexuality is no longer a listed reason for challenging books. And Tango Makes Three has topped or nearly topped the list for five years straight, until now. Now it is not even on the list at all. Now no book is listed for homosexuality. That is very good news.
However, I can't help but wonder if my exposing how last year's 2010 list was faked, precisely on the issue of homosexuality, made a difference. The recording I made of the 2010 award-winning author admitting the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom [OIF] fudged the numbers likely was key. See:
That said, the OIF still fails to list the number of challenges for each listed book. I am certain that is because so few challenges are made that no one would pay heed to such a list showing book challenges are really not a problem, a truth directly counter to the OIF's message. Last year, for example, the top book (Tango) was challenged 4 times all year, though the OIF said dozens. That's a problem. Solution? Don't provide the individual numbers, only the aggregate.
Demand the numbers. Demand intellectual freedom. How many times was each book challenged.
Posted by: Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries | Apr 10, 2012 12:14:50 PM