Sunday, October 4, 2015

Banned Books Week

From Epic Reads
The last week of September is devoted to Banned Books week.
I was going to try to do all horse books, but horse books aren't on many banned book lists (Yay!). Animal Farm has some horse characters and Sodapop from The Outsiders does mention rodeos, but I felt like that was too much of a stretch.
There are many reasons behind books being challenged. Do I think books should be banned? Nope. Now, there is a huge difference between book levels and challenging. There are certain types of content within some books that I feel should be read by more mature people or else the meaning is lost. The themes of the book would go completely over his or her head. Challenging a book, even though the person is the appropriate maturity/reading level is completely different. Especially trying get books taken out of libraries instead of passing by them. Eck.
While I could just make a list of my favorite books that have been challenged/banned, I decided to list this year's banned books. This year's theme was Young Adult/Teen books. I was pretty happy that I've read five of the top ten books on the list.

The compete list of  banned/challenged YA/Teen books of 2014-2015, per Banned Books Week, are:

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
  2. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi 
  3. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
  4. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
  5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
  6. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier 
  7. Chinese Handcuffs, by Chris Crutcher
  8. The Giver, by Lois Lowry 
  9. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros
  10. Looking for Alaska, by John Green 

Epic Reads has an interesting distinction between challenged and banned books. Something I never thought of. I often thought the terms to be interchangeable. 

Challenged Books: Books that people are trying to remove or restrict from schools, libraries, etc.
Banned Books: If a group of people challenge a book and they win, then the book is banned and removed from public spaces like schools, libraries, etc.

I was shocked that The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is number one. It is a coming of age story that is a mix of text and illustrations. It's told from a 1st person narration and is a fast read. I liked it and learned some about reservations. It was on the list of potential books for the local libraries to focus on for the year. It didn't win, but I'm glad I read it.
(Also, look at my chalkie variation!)
Persepolis is a graphic novel.  I read it in college for the graphic novel class I took.  It surrounds the author from childhood to early adult years in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. I learned a bunch about an event in history that I wasn't familiar with. The movie that was made from it is beautifully animated and is a great adaption of the book.

Do you think books should be banned? Have you read any of the books from this year's list?


  1. Hi Kristian, I have read 2: the Bluest Eye and Kite Runner. Thanks for the info on those I hadn't read! I like 1000 Splendid Suns better than Kite Runner (same author) but they're both OK. Should books be banned? This is too complex to answer briefly. As an editor/proofreader I see bad writing/editing way too often. A well written book about a controversial subject is better than a poorly proofed book about... anything.

    1. I completely agree about bad writing and editing being worse than a well written book about a controversial subject. I haven't read The Kite Runner, but it's interesting to know that you liked 1000 Splendid Suns better!