Top 10 Censored Books

I stumbled across this interesting tidbit from The Economist:

“FOR THE second year running “And Tango Makes Three”, a children’s book, has topped the American Library Association’s list of “Ten Most Challenged Books”. The tale of two male penguins adopting an orphaned egg provoked more written complaints to libraries and schools in 2007 than any other book. Inappropriate sex, homosexuality and atheism are the most common reasons for complaints. Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn” has been accused of racism. Despite the ban requests, most challenges are unsuccessful.”

APBooks Top 10 Censored Books

I’ve read three on the list (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Color Purple, and Caged Bird) and loved each. 

Any responses?

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19 Responses to Top 10 Censored Books

  1. C.B.JAmes says:

    We should all read And Tango Makes Three. Since it’s a kids book one could read it in no time and them form an opinion based on the actual book.

    I’ve read seven of the ten. Each one was excellent. I do have to admit that censorous people tend to go after pretty good literature in general.

  2. Kristen says:

    Seven out of ten! Nice going… Good point, too — to find quality literature, simply find out who’s making the biggest fuss! ;)

    I wonder what is so dang scary about different perspectives?

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  4. Anna says:

    Out of these, I’ve only read “The Color Purple.” I, too, have noticed that a large number of censored books are great reads.

  5. Kristen says:

    Wasn’t The Color Purple wonderful! I taught it to my American Lit. students one year and they loved it (especially the girls)…

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  7. Sam says:

    My English teacher, said that all the best books are the censored books, I find it interesting that parents see such a need to censor books for everyone and not just let their child not read it. I have yet to read any of them, but i soon will read them all

  8. Kristen says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Sam! I think your English teacher and I would get along… :)

    Happy Reading…!

  9. Sarah says:

    When I was in high school, nearly all the books we read were popularly controversial and banned in several other counties/states. Our school made it a rule to have each student’s parents sign a permission slip enabling their child to read any book that was on a “controversial list”. It’s silly, but at least they give us a choice.

  10. Kristen says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Sarah! As a teacher, I would ask students to take home a permission slip for controversial movies I wanted to pair with the literature I was teaching, but hadn’t moved on to the actual books themselves. I guess on a positive note this is one way of getting parents involved in their kid’s education! ;)

  11. Louie S. says:

    It really is outrageous that some people are narrow minded enough to shield children from books that obviously teach important life values :( Children are not stupid, they are intelligent young people who can surely grasp what a controversial book’s message is and more importanly, that these books should not be feared, but embraced and understood by those of us with open, curious, and searching minds. The majority of those people, happen to be kids.. :(
    (These books are a great selection though!)

  12. Kristen says:

    Amen! I think it would be better to confront and explore controversial topics through the pages of a book first, before experiencing them in real life, too…?

  13. Jacob says:

    At what point would a book ever become inappropriate? I wouldn’t put a harlequin romance novel in a middle school library. It has nothing to do with open or closed mindedness there but what is appropriate for the age lvl of the child. I think that it should be up to parents to supervise their children, whether it’s the television, internet or books that they read.

  14. Kristen says:

    Thank you for joining the discussion, Jacob!! I love this topic…

    On one level I agree that supervision of media should be up to the parents. However, after teaching high school English for 15 years, I unfortunately know how many parents are unaware or even uninterested in what their kids are watching or reading. So, what do we do then?

    Also, what about those parents who are unfit? Is it then better to have these decisions made by a committee of teachers, administrators and school board members (who tend to be involved parents and community members)?

  15. Hello! says:

    My class is currently doing a debate on cencorship. I am against it and feel that all censorship does is keep people from exploring their imagination. I have not read any of these books but am looking forward to do so!

  16. Julie says:

    I’m actually doing my junior research paper on the censorship of books and I have read half of these!
    I love the ttyl series, I can’t believe all of these are being challenged.

  17. Kristen says:

    Such a great topic for a paper!! I’m planning on writing another post on censorship in the upcoming week or two. A fascinating topic since it reflects the values of our society…

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