Last week was Banned Books week [Sep. 25 -Oct. 2]. This is an annual event for freedom  of speech, and against censorship. There was an article I read from The Christian Science Monitor written by Husna Haq. The article states:  “German poet Heinrich Heine wrote in an 1821 play, “Where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people.” Some 112 years later, Nazis torched thousands of books before training their fire on people.Throughout history, groups have sought to ban – and burn – books, as if so doing would extinguish the message, the subversion, or the “filth” contained therein. Sadly, it’s hardly a thing of the past. Current events have an uncanny way of mimicking history – remember Terry Jones, the Florida minister who planned to hold a Quran-burning at his Gainesville church Sept. 11th ?”[end of CSM quote]

You may be quite shocked and surprised at some of the titles that have been banned, I know I was. For example: James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Huck Finn by Mark Twain, A Wrinke in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. More recent books that were pulled from bookshelves were the Twilight series by Stephanie Myers, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman, even the Merriam-Webster Dictionary!  The thing I find most interesting [according to sources I’ve read] is that many times the people calling for the banning of these books have not read the material!! Without freedom and imagination life would be pretty dull and boring.  So, why don’t you grab a banned book and get a little rebellious. Just go to http://www.ala.org or the search engine of your choice and type in banned books. Here is the most current list.

The top 10 titles most challenged titles of 2009 were:

1. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series) by Lauren Myracle

Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs

2. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

Reasons: Homosexuality

3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide

4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

6. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

7. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence

8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

10. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Posted by Estel