It’s a new month, and a new category for the 2016 MMD Reading Challenge! This month we’re tackling “a book that was banned at some point.”
First off, what do we mean by “banned?” We’re talking a book that was removed from circulation at a library or school because somebody complained about it.
For this category, I’ve chosen twenty books that have been banned at some point for your TBR consideration. As you can see, these books have been banned—and continue to be removed from the shelves—for a wide variety of reasons. The American Library Association compiles these each year, and the accumulated stats make for very interesting reading.
Every year the American Library Association celebrates the freedom to read with Banned Books Week, coming in September. Get a jump on it by choosing your title now.
The ALA isn’t saying these books are for everyone, or that everyone should read them. They are saying readers and their families should have the opportunity to decide for themselves.
John Green's 2005 novel was the most challenged book of 2015; according to the American Library Association, the most frequently cited reasons for the requests to remove it from a school or library were "offensive language and "sexually explicit descriptions." John Green responded, "What usually happens with Looking for Alaska is that a parent chooses one page of the novel to send to an administrator and then the book gets banned without anyone who objects to it having read more than that one particular page.”More info →
I'm reading this for the banned books category of the 2016 Reading Challenge. From the publisher: "Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot."More info →
The story is narrated by a 15-year-old British boy with autism, who is also a math genius, and adores puzzles. When his neighbor's dog is found dead in the backyard, impaled by a pitchfork, the boy is determined to get to the bottom of the crime. After a teacher tells him he should write something he'd like to read himself, he decides to write about this mystery, which is the book presented to us readers. When this book was pulled from school reading lists for concerns about profanity, the author responded "My suspicion is that more people will read it."More info →
In this 1960 classic, small-town attorney Atticus Finch attempts a hopeless defense of a black man unjustly accused of rape, and to teach his children, Scout and Jem, about the evils of racism. It's been a staple on high school reading lists for years (and I talked about my significant high school experience with Mockingbird here), but it enjoyed a fresh burst of publicity when its companion Go Set a Watchman was published this summer. (I'd love to be in the course that reads both, together.)More info →
What are you reading for this category? I’ve marked my choice below. I can’t wait to hear what YOU pick.