Thursday, December 30, 2010

Literary Musing : Banned Books 2010 – The Most Challenged Top Ten Books Classics in the 21st Century.

Banned Books 2010 – The Most Challenged Top Ten Books Classics in the 21st Century.


Every year, during Banned Book week – we are presented with a list of books that have been officially looked upon as troublesome etc and are compiled into a list that many have decided to challenge for one reason or another, ones that people don’t think are suitable for us to be reading.

During Banned Book Week, I wrote up a review of the series “Vampire Academy” by Richelle Mead as we had the mini challenge to read and review a book that was on the banned list and it got me thinking, how many other popular books that the majority of teens, even adults have read –made the list. The books that I list below are ones that I’ve read.

How many of you, can say Yes I’ve read that and question yourself, why it was banned? Some books and authors suffer through the banning of books and receive criticism, backlash galore. Here below is a list of books and authors that have gone through the theme of Banned Books.

A. Ellen Hopkins – She was disinvited to speak at a Teen Book conference as they said that her books contained topics not suitable for teens and issues that were not suitable. Ellen Hopkins is one of my favourite authors who specialises in writing books that contain what most call “Edgy Content” and they do tackle subjects, issues that others may sometimes see as taboo e.g. Eating Disorders, Drugs, and Sex etc. Some of her titles include: Tricks, Impulse, Crank, Glass, Burned etc.

B. Lauren Myracle – Her series “The TTYL series” which includes titles – ttyl, ttfn and l8r, g8r. They are about the dramas of three high school friends, Zoe, Maddie, and Angela, are written entirely in the style of instant messaging. "These books deal realistically with young adult lives. They were put on the banned list as they include talk of nudity, sex, drugs and offensive language.

C. The Perks of Being Wallflower – This book by Stephen Chbosky is what I would classify as a contemporary classic novel, if contemporaries could ever be classified as a classic. Chbosky's teenage narrator describes various scenes in his life and explores topics such as introversion, teenage sexuality, abuse, and drug use. Chbosky has cited Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye as an inspiration, and pays homage to it by naming it as one of the books Charlie's English teacher gives him to read. This was put on the banned list due to homosexuality, religious viewpoints, sex, anti-family, drugs and suicide.

D. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – Every year it seems that a book that is a recommended high-school read and seen as a classic in sense is added to the banned books list. Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning story of rape and racial inequality in 1930s Alabama is a veteran of the most-challenged list, due to Lee's use of the word "nigger". "Similar to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Lee uses the language of a certain time “But the use is to put forward a very strongly anti-racist message. It is really a shame that one particular word makes a book objectionable when the message of the book is exactly the opposite." The reasons were of course Racism and offensive language used.

E. Twilight Saga – Stephenie Meyer – The ever popular saga that I guarantee unless Vampires aren’t really your thing and that’s at a last resort. This series has been read by everyone, it’s that popular and on high-demand. It’s even been made into films.
F. The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger – Another classic that seems to forever be on the list of banned books yearly. JD Salinger's iconic novel of teenage rebellion has provoked a storm of complaints – from being "anti-white" and "obscene" to being "centered around negative activity" and "a filthy, filthy book" – since its publication more than 50 years ago. It returned to the list of most challenged books this year after a four-year absence. "It's a cherished favorite for many readers so seeing it there can be shocking," says Maycock. "People might ask 'are we still having problems with Catcher in the Rye?' The truth is, yes we are. It's a classic because of many of the things that make it potentially objectionable, including the language used and the fact that Holden Caulfield is a classic non-conformist. That can be scary."

G. My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult - Picoult's novel, which has since been made into a film in 2009, tells the story of 13-year-old Anna who sues her parents for medical emancipation when she is expected to donate a kidney to her sister Kate, who is dying from leukemia.

H. The Earth, My Butt and other Big Round things – Carolyn Mackler - Mackler's Michael L Printz award-winning novel tells the story of high school student Virginia Shreves, who has a "larger-than-average" body and a medium-sized inferiority complex.

I. The Color Purple – Alice Walker - Walker's most famous novel won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the National Book Award, and has been adapted for stage and screen. Set in rural 1930s Georgia, it focuses on the position of black women in the southern US, and has frequently been targeted by censors since its publication.

Have you read any books that have in the past been listed on the Banned Books List? Have any topics that you wish to share and that you want to read about, give me an email on paulazone@live.com

Till, Next Month – Thanks for reading this month’s Literary Musing with The Phantom Paragrapher.

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