Friday, September 17, 2010

Banned/Challenged Books and My Recommendations

Have you ever done something just because someone sparked your curiosity by telling you that you shouldn't? Kind of like when someone tells you that they just saw the worst movie ever, but you still go and see it just so you can know for yourself. That's pretty much why I ended up seeing and then reading The Golden Compass. Plus, reading a banned/challenged book was one of my assignments in a Young Adult Literature class I was in. That's how I discovered whole lists of banned/challenged books with the reasons why they were challenged.

My interest was peeked. Here were a bunch of books that parents everywhere didn't want their children to read. Some of them I can understand. If I had children of my own, there are some books that I wouldn't want them to read until a certain age, and there would even be some that I would recommend not to read at all (not necessarily because I think it's inappropriate, but really there's some books that I think are a waste of time or just dumb. I still end up pushing through a lot of those dumb books just to see if it gets any better. Sometimes it does.). There are other books that I see on these lists and I immediately start laughing a little to myself and wonder why they were challenged in the first place. In my mind, they're perfectly all right, but I suppose it's all up to the individual reader. That's why I suggest giving some of these books a chance.

My suggestion: I don't want myself or anyone else to end up reading something and becoming thoroughly embarrassed or offended. So do a little research. Find the lists that tell you why books have been challenged. Again, I think some of the accusations made against these books I find to be a little ridiculous. No offense. So check out what other readers have said about the book so you can be more clear on the challenged subject matter.

A good list can be found at the ALA website, who even have a Banned Books Week from September 25-October 2! Another list can be found at

There's some others ones you can look at as well. Take a look. It's kind of fun to see how many of them you've read. Quite a few are books that are required reading for schools.

Here are a few books on the lists that I would recommend reading:
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Anything by Roald Dahl (a few have ended up on these lists)
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
- The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
- The Pigman by Paul Zindel
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
-The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

There's some other good ones that are on these lists too. Like I said, just double check for content if you're concerned before you read these.

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