Apr 10 2012 8:47am

National Library Week: 2011’s Most Challenged Books

This week is National Library Week, and is an especially good time to celebrate all that libraries do for us.

Including have books available to borrow that some people wish were not available for borrowers at all. Here is the list of the 10 Most Frequently Challenged Library Books of 2011. Underneath the title is the justification for challenging the book to be available in libraries.

1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
Nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
Anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
Nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint

7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit

8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
Nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit

9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit

10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Offensive language; racism

Maybe you’d like to add “pay a visit to the library and borrow a book” to your to-do list this week?

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Connie Fischer
1. conniecape@aol.com
The library is a haunt of mine most days of the week. There is fiction, non-fiction, DVDs, CDs, magazines, etc. all at one's fingertips. Take your children to browse the books and DVDs for their age and sit in on story reading times. Make it a family event where everyone goes and looks into things that interest them. Grab a DVD and have a family movie night. The library is the most wonderful place ever where the world is waiting to be discovered.

Connie Fischer
Brittany Melson
2. BrittanyMelson
Why in the world would "a religious viewpoint" be a reason to challenge a book? Isn't that a part of cultural diversity, and isn't cultural diversity something we want to teach our kids about? So weird. Also, the Hunger Games is occult/satanic? That made me laugh.
Allison Brennan
3. Allison_Brennan
I've always believed that parents should be the only people allowed to censor what their kids read.
4. TracyS
@Allison_Brennan: I agree. There is nothing wrong with a parent deciding what is okay for their child to read, but that doesn't mean it has to be forced on others. For example, my 12 yr old son read THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy. I read it along with him so we could talk about it. My 9 year old always wants to do/read what his older brother is. Usually, that is not an issue, but I really think that 9 is too young and he's a sensitve soul so I don't think he's ready. I told him he had to be 12. He told me some kids in his class are reading them and I flat out told him that I don't think those parents are wrong--each family has different rules. I think 9 is too young--for my son. But another 9 year old can be ready and be fine.

Anyway, I just wanted to say I agree.
Elizabeth Halliday
5. Ibbitts
It is my strong opinion that a Librarian who is doing her/his job is familiar with the tastes and desires of her/his patrons and, therefore, has a better ability than anyone else to determine what books sould be purchased for her/his Library. This should change from Library to Library, as patrons change from location to location. The patrons are the most important consideration; if they stop coming to the Library because they can't find the books they want to read, there will no longer be a Library for any of us.

As to the genre of Young Adult fiction in general: As an adult I have read four popular YA series: the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, the Immortals series by Alyson Noel and the Daniel X series by James Patterson and of the four, I would only reccommend the Twilight series to the target YA 11 to 14 age group. The other three series, in my opinion, are inappropriate for the lower end of that age group. I do not think tweens should be forced into making permanent life-altering decisions, even in a fantasy-fiction setting. That being said, the parents are the only ones who should be making these decisions about what their children are reading. What are we going to do? Start putting the "E" sticker on books the way they used to do to record albums? Please...

The Library is one of the very few remaining places of equality left on the planet earth. Non-fiction lives with Mystery. Romance lives with Education. Fantasy lives with Gardening. Cooking lives with Juvenile. And on, and on, and on. All in the same room. In peace. Everyone has the same standing. Everyone is just as important as everyone else. The Library is hallowed ground. Don't let censorship mess that up.
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