So I should be working at my paying job right now, but I felt like taking a look at the ALA’s 2009 Top Ten list of most frequently challenged books. I’ve only read 6/10, so I’m a little behind.
*adds banned books to list of books to read*
The Twilight Series is on the list, one of the reasons being that it’s “sexually explicit.” Huh? Out of about a trillion words, there were maybe two lines that implied sex. The rest was a lot of mooning and longing looks with some occasional making out. Oh, and vampires. Lots of vampires.
Same with “Catcher in the Rye.” I don’t recall Holden having sex, just thinking about it a lot, probably because he was a teenage boy. What I got from the book was that Holden was on the verge of a breakdown, it was sad, not offensive.
Sad, not offended, was also how I felt about “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” I bought it years ago at a library book sale because I liked the title and the cover. I’m sure I read it in one sitting, it still sticks with me. The main character was so authentic to me – quirky, sweet, uncertain…a real teenager.
“And Tango Makes Three” – really? Like a little kid will read this and say, “Oh no, those penguins are gay…down with penguins!” Little kids aren’t born with prejudices, they’re taught them. A kid would read this and think, “Hey, I want to go to the zoo.” This is one of those “teaching” books, a reason for parents to sit down with their kids and teach them that love comes in all forms.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” for racism. Um…it wasn’t like Harper Lee just made up segregation and racism.
“The Chocolate War.” It’s been awhile since I read this, but I don’t recall being offended. I remember some of the kids at the school being jerks, even to the point of cutthroat – did the people who demanded the banning actually attend high school, did they somehow escape those snarky teenage years?
I just checked out the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009 – is anyone else amused that “Fahrenheit 451” is on there…guessing the point of the book was lost on some people.