Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Top 5 Wednesday!
This week is the American Library Association’s annual Banned Books Week. It is a week-long celebration held every year in the book community to celebrate our freedom to read whatever we please. Each year, many books are challenged or banned in schools and libraries across the world. Anything from a children’s book about penguins (Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson – depicts the true story of two male penguins raising a baby penguin) to a worldwide beloved fantasy series (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – enforces anti-Christian values through depiction of witchcraft and wizardry) is going to make someone mad somewhere.
In honor of Banned Books Week, today’s topic is all about the banned or challenged books that I have read. I have read a lot of frequently challenged or banned books. In fact, I’m constantly talking about most of the books on this list. I am lucky to have been able to have access to so many books, to have the freedom to think for myself. Some of the frequently challenged books do challenge what I personally believe, but that is what I love about them. They allow me to view multiple vantage points and make the decision for myself. Unfortunately, this is the exact choice that many want to restrict by banning these books.
Onto the countdown.
For this list, I will give a description of why the book was banned and/or challenged. See if you can figure out which book I am talking about. Then, click on the banned book image to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page.
BANNED BOOK #5
This book was banned from a school district in Texas in 2012 for the use of the term “poo poo head.” Seriously. It was also challenged in 2004 in a California school district for its inappropriate story line involving excrement.
BANNED BOOK #4
This book depicts acts of racism towards members of the African American community. It also contains explicit adult content such as sexual intercourse, rape, and incest. It also contains “foul language” such as “damn” and “whore lady.”
Fun fact!: I read this as required reading in one of my high school English classes. Not only that, but I was required to help teach it to a younger English class.
BANNED BOOK #3
This banned or challenged book was written by an atheist author. Its characters depict actions and thoughts that are anti-God, anti-Catholic, and anti-religion. The main character frequently drinks wine and consumes poppy during meals. This book was later returned to the library, but bore a sticker stating, “representations of the church in this novel are purely fictional and are not reflective of the real Roman Catholic Church or the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
BANNED BOOK #2
This book was banned and/or challenged for its many depictions of sexual activity and drug use. One school district claimed that students and minors could easily learn more about the depicted drug use “through a simple internet search.”
Fun fact!: I read this as required reading for one of my high school English classes.
BANNED BOOK #1
This book is stored in a Missouri high school library’s secure section that only parents have access to. This book is not allowed to be read allowed by teachers or be a part of required reading. It teaches principles contrary to The Bible. It also depicts thoughts and actions that are anti-war. It’s also been challenged for strong sexual content. Some believe that distribution of this book to minors is similar to distribution of pornography to minors and should be illegal as such.
Fun fact!: Many of this author’s books are challenged and/or banned in high schools. As part of my senior English class, I and another student did an author study on this book’s author. We read many of his books and taught their (often banned) themes to our classmates.
BONUS BANNED BOOK
This book was removed from a California school’s library because a student found the term “oral sex” within its pages.
How many of the above banned books were you able to guess? We still have a few days left of Banned Books Week. I encourage you to read a banned book that you’ve never read before. Talk to your librarian and ask about the reasons why a book has been banned. You’ll be quite surprised.
In the comment section, let me know what your favorite book is that has been challenged or banned.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!
Find me on: