Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011

Banned Books Week is September 30-October 6 this year. This is a week when libraries, bookstores, and other book-loving places unite to celebrate the freedom to read! We believe that people should have free and open access to information.

To celebrate Banned Books Week, why not read a book that some people don’t think you should be allowed to read? There’s a display of banned books in the Teen Scene this month. Here’s a list the American Library Association (ALA) compiled of last year’s Top 10 most frequently challenged books. (If that’s not enough for you, you can also try the Top 100 Banned Books of 2000-2009.)

TTYL by Lauren MyracleThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieThe Agony of Alice by Phyllis Reynolds NaylorBrave New World by Aldous HuxleyWhat My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
    Summary: Chronicles, in “instant message” format, the day-to-day experiences, feelings, and plans of three friends, Zoe, Maddie, and Angela, as they begin tenth grade.
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
    Summary: Ehwa tries to cope with her widowed mother’s finding of new love, while she, after falling in love with Duksam, a young wrestler, discovers the pain of heartbreak when Master Cho sends Duksam away and asks for her hand in marriage himself, in a Korean novel in graphic format.
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
    Summary: In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place.
  4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
    Summary: Told through the voice of the excited big sister, an informative look at how babies come about traces the embryo’s development, explains conception, and shows the process of her mother going into labor.
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
    Summary: Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
    Summary: Eleven-year-old, motherless Alice decides she needs a gorgeous role model who does everything right; and when placed in homely Mrs. Plotkins’s class she is greatly disappointed until she discovers it’s what people are inside that counts.
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
    Summary: Huxley’s classic prophetic novel describes the socialized horrors of a futuristic utopia devoid of individual freedom.
  8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
    Summary: Sophie describes her relationships with a series of boys as she searches for Mr. Right.
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
    Summary: Presents a world of jealousy and betrayal at an exclusive private school in Manhattan.
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism
    Summary: Scout Finch, the young daughter of a local attorney in the Deep South during the 1930s, tells of her father’s defense of an African-American man charged with the rape of a white girl.
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