Every year, the American Library Association, ALA , Office for Intellectual Freedom gathers a list of challenged books to give to teachers and librarians across the country. For one week each year, typically in the last week of Sept., readers are encouraged to practice their freedom to seek out and express ideas that some consider unorthodox.
For 2016, Banned Book week is Sept. 25 through Oct. 1, and TCHS librarian Brandy Abbott plans to make students aware. Of the top ten most challenged books of last year, the TCHS library has five of them, as well as upward of 20 popularly challenged classics. In acknowledgement of the event, the Timber Creek library will have a selfie station with banned books on display.
“Especially in our country, we take our rights for granted, but we’re actually very fortunate,” Abbot commented. “We want to celebrate the fact that we have the freedom to read whatever we want to.”
Popular banned books include Catcher In the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harry Potter and the Bible. This year’s top ten most controversial books are listed below with reasons as stated by the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom:
1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
6. The Holy Bible
Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).