September 30th through October 6th, 2012, marks the annual celebration of the freedom to read known as Banned Book Week. This year also marks the thirtieth anniversary of the celebration, three decades of liberty and the first amendment. You too can celebrate by picking up a challenged or banned book from your local library.
Below is a list of the ten most frequently banned or challenged books in the United States in 2011, as reported to the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom. All of these books are freely available in the Milwaukee library system.
1. ttyl; ttfn; and l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
These books follow three friends, Zoe, Maddie, and Angela, as they IM one another about their day-to-day experiences, feelings, and plans through their high school years.
2. The Color of Earth series, by Kim Dong Hwa
This Korean graphic novel chronicles the lives of a single mother and her daughter in rural Korea, and is a moving and evocative look at love as seen through the eyes of one feeling it for the first time and another who longs to savor it once more.
3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.
Also see our previous reviews here and here.
4. My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
Elizabeth's mom is having a baby, and the whole family is involved. Elizabeth learns all about the baby's development, and she traces his growth, month by month. She learns how the baby got inside Mom, too.
5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
6. The Alice Series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
A series of books that follow young Alice McKinley from elementary school all the way through high school, exploring various themes of relationships, dating, sex, friendship, life problems, families, religion, and understanding.
7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Huxley's classic prophetic novel describes the socialized horrors of a futuristic utopia devoid of individual freedom.
8. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
A series of poems reflect the thoughts and feelings of Sophie, a fifteen-year-old-girl, as she describes her relationships with a series of boys and as she searches for Mr. Right.
9. Gossip Girl Series, by Cecily Von Ziegesar
The series revolves around the lives and romances of the privileged teenagers at the Constance Billard School for Girls, an elite private school in New York City's Upper East Side. The books primarily focus on best friends Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen, whose experiences are among those chronicled by the eponymous gossip blogger.
10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, Scout, as her father, Atticus Finch -- a crusading local lawyer-- risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.
For more information and lists on frequently challenged books, check out the ALA's website on banned and challenged books.
The above annotations are in part from our catalog or the readers' advisory database NoveList.
Tim @ Central