ALA List of 2014's Most Frequently Challenged Books Released
The American Library Association (ALA) has released a list of 2014’s most frequently challenged books.
According to the organization, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) “received 311 reports regarding attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves” over the course of 2014. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie claims the top spot on the list.
The ALA went on to state, “The lack of diverse books for young readers continues to fuel concern,” and that “a current analysis of book challenges recorded by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) from 2001 – 2013, shows that attempts to remove books by authors of color and books with themes about issues concerning communities of color are disproportionately challenged and banned.”
A challenge, by definition, is the filing of a formal and written complaint with libraries or schools to demand a book’s removal or restriction due to its content or appropriateness.
And now, a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books along with the reasons they are being challenged, as outlined by the ALA (drum roll please):
1) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying.”
2) Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions.”
3) And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda.”
4) The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues.”
5) It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography.”
6) Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
7) The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence.
8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation.”
9) A Stolen Life Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
10) Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit.
I don’t know about you, but knowing a book has been challenged makes me want to read it even more! Will you be adding any of these works to your “To Read” list?
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