Bad Boys: American Library Association Releases Frequently Challenged Book List
Each year the American Library Association releases its list of frequently challenged books, commonly known as the Banned Books list. 2013's list just hit the internet, and it's a mixed bag of surprise and no surprise at all.
Topping the list is a perennial contender, the Captain Underpants series, which has been corrupting the youth of America for over a decade now, warping minds with villains such as the Purple Potty People and Wicked Wedgie Women. It also teaches kids knock-knock jokes that result in saying "I'm a pile of poo." The humanity.
After taking a few years off, Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye has made a reappearance on the list. It contains sex and some language, and perhaps most puzzling is that it is listed as being "unsuited to age group" despite the fact that it appears to be geared towards adult audiences. So far, no alternate cover featuring teen heartthrobs with stylized hair and motorcycle jackets.
Fifty Shades Of Grey makes the list, no big surprise. Although the listed reason of "nudity" is an interesting test of artistic theory as we're talking about descriptions of fictional characters' fictional nudity. Ceci n'est pas une pipe, indeed.
We almost made it through this year's list without having a book banned for "homosexuality." We get all the way down to number 8, Stephen Chbosky's wonderful The Perks Of Being A Wallflower before we find a book frequently challenged because it contains, on some level, the idea of homosexuality. Maybe next year.
Take a look at the list for yourself. See what you think. Are we growing as a people here? Is it reasonable to ban a book because it's not right for its proposed audience? Which books are maligned unfairly?
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