Top 10 banned books of 2014

April 13, 2015

AlexieCover_1The American Library Association has released its annual report assessing the state of academic, public and school libraries. Included in the report is a list of the 10 most frequently banned or challenged books of 2014.

Last year, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom received 311 reports of attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves. These are the books that made the top 10:

1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The story of a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation who leaves his troubled school on the reservation to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Reasons listed for banning: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence, depictions of bullying.

2. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

The graphic story of the authors childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

Reasons listed for banning: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint, politically, racially and socially offensive; graphic depictions

Tangopenguin

3. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

The story of two male penguins at a zoo that become a family.

Reasons for banning: anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group and it promotes the homosexual agenda

4. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The story of a black girl with an inferiority complex because of her eye color.

Reasons for banning: sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, contains controversial issues

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5. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris

A book about puberty, growing up, sex and sexual health.

Reasons for banning: nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group  and allegedly child pornography

6. Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

A sexy tale of a young family trying to find its place in the world.

Reasons for banning: anti-family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

Kite_runner

7. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The story of a young boys life in Afghanistan.

Reasons for banning: offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

  1.  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons for banning: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, date rape and masturbation

9. A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

A memoir of Jayycee Dugard’s kidnapping and life as a hostage and sexual assault victim.

Reasons for baning: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

10. Drama by Raina Telgemeir

The story of a middle school girl’s involvement in a school play and the ongoing drama within the cast and crew.

Reason for banning: sexually explicit


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19 Comments

  1. Bertrand says:

    Thanks for the list. If a publisher takes a risk on a controversial topic, count me in. If it is worth banning, it is probably worth reading. Ideas are only as dangerous as we make them out to be.

    (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
  2. Perspicacious says:

    “Reasons listed for banning: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence, depictions of bullying, gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint, politically, racially and socially offensive; graphic depictions, anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group and it promotes the homosexual agenda, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, contains controversial issues, nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group and allegedly child pornography, anti-family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence, drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, date rape and masturbation, drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, sexually explicit”

    If not wanting my children exposed to the above list makes me “afraid to have my worldview challenged, and it probably isn’t all that strong to begin with” then so be it. You people defending exposing children to the above list of “virtues” really worry me and you will not be babysitting for me any time soon.

    (0) 18 Total Votes - 9 up - 9 down
    • achillesheal says:

      Amen Brutha, parents want to discuss these issues with their children in their way, when they feel the time is right. Kindergarten children don’t need to be exposed to sexuality of any kind. It’s too soon. Let them be kids, stop trying to shape their world views before they need to comprehend or concern themselves with these issues.

      (-2) 10 Total Votes - 4 up - 6 down
    • markslo70 says:

      Pushing info that children aren’t yet ready to understand isn’t productive, and may even be harmful. However, you must keep in mind that children will one day enter the real world, and they will be confronted by real issues. You can shield them from information and conflicting points of view, but more likely than not this will only create unnecessary ambiguity and undermine their ability to arrive at well-rounded decisions. By all means share your personal experiences and perspectives with your children. That is your responsibility as a father. But leaving them to be blindsided by “new” ideas, whether they are correct or not, will most likely hinder their ability to make complex decisions on the fly. I understand that you want what’s best for your children, and if you could you would see to it that every choice they make is the best one. But of course that is impossible. The most you can hope for is to make them into good problem solvers who are able to sift through what’s incorrect until they find that best solution.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
      • achillesheal says:

        Yes. There is no reason for a 5 year old to need to know that Johnny’s daddy laleeps with boys and not girls. My point is not to shield children. The point is that the parent, not the govt schools has the discretion on how and when to teach their child the information and for the child to begin forming his/her opinions.

        Note that the school libraries will never have a contrasting point of view. Many who feel that gay marriage is wrong have valid points. Does the school literature share those points of view? Shouldn’t kids get all of the information when they are ready and not just one side?

        (1) 11 Total Votes - 6 up - 5 down
        • FairAndBalanced says:

          achillesheel,

          Do you really think that there are not books on the other side of these? Are the library shelves empty?

          Why frame it as “Johnny’s daddy SLEEPS with boys and not girls? Are they really taking about boinking penguins here OR two boy penguins that live together, are given an egg to hatch by the zoo keepers (which does hatch) and the three of them make a family. Sheesh, look where your mind went.

          (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
      • Perspicacious says:

        I agree. Train the children properly and they will be able to sift through the crap when faced with it. However, they get exposed to enough garbage that ISN’T sanctioned by the school…from the other students. Exposing them at a young age to most of the crap on that list is NOT good parenting. When they are older and out of school, if your job is done right, they will be fine. I think what you are alluding to is those that homeschool through all grades and then throw the kids to the wolves…having had NO contact with the world. THAT is dangerous. Notice that those books were mostly geared towards the very young students, not even HS aged.

        (2) 10 Total Votes - 6 up - 4 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Don’t let your kids anywhere near Vegas, or Salt Lake City !

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  3. achillesheal says:

    Why the obsession with teaching sexual topics (books 4 and 5) aside from unacceptable touch to prepubescent children?

    Let them be kids!

    (6) 16 Total Votes - 11 up - 5 down
  4. markslo70 says:

    “If you are afraid to have your worldview challenged, it probably isn’t all that strong to begin with.”

    (4) 18 Total Votes - 11 up - 7 down
  5. Citizen says:

    Fair and Balanced, we have had books challenged all over San Luis Obispo County, including at the Cal Poly Library.

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  6. SpeakTruth says:

    Looks like I have 10 new books to read!

    (6) 26 Total Votes - 16 up - 10 down
  7. willnose says:

    Surefire way to get books into the hands of eager eyes, inquisitive minds is by BANNING them!
    Works every time, as it should, as it should…. ;-)

    (10) 20 Total Votes - 15 up - 5 down
  8. Ted Slanders says:

    Where in the hell is the banning of Satanic Science EVILution books in our public schools? The books shown that are banned don’t hold a candle to ungodly EVILution books that the liberals are pushing upon our innocent Christian children!

    Everyone should know that man did not derive from the insidious notion of primordial soup, and evolved within hundreds of thousands of years, what a joke! As our Christian Hebrew God stated in Luke 3:23-38, whereas the chronological order of man existing on earth, from Jesus back to Adam, is only approximately 6000 years old!

    Besides, every true Christian realizes that man was made from dirt (Genesis 2:7) and woman from man’s rib (Genesis 2:22), and this scenario is easier and more believable than some dumbfounded EVILution scientist telling us otherwise!

    I am sure that I speak for my Christian brethren, in that if we never hear again the phrase of why did our God create man with nipples, or painful wisdom teeth, a coccyx, aka, a tailbone, a useless appendix, auricular muscles, erector pili muscles, and other various perceived EVILution attributes, it will be too soon!

    My fellow Christians, please join me in writing your Congressman in the hopes of getting a law passed that will eliminate any further paintings, or pictures, showing Adam and Eve with belly buttons! It is sacrilege to have this shown under the true conditions of our Hebrew God’s Creation! Thank you.

    (-3) 25 Total Votes - 11 up - 14 down
  9. FairAndBalanced says:

    Well, you can just imagine WHERE these books were attempted to be banned…..you don’t want stories about people of “other” races or “different” sexual identities, or heaven forbid, sex, out there spoiling children’s minds.

    Were they successfully banned/restricted?

    (-3) 21 Total Votes - 9 up - 12 down
    • Perspicacious says:

      Yes, in schools where parents actually care about raising their children themselves.

      (-3) 37 Total Votes - 17 up - 20 down
      • LameCommenter says:

        Fabulous, Perspicacious. Right between the eyes. Dead center. Ten-X ring on the target. Look at all the libs thumb you down.

        Don’t forget the book: “Heather has two mommies” Confusing and ruining kids in school now for a decade ?

        (1) 19 Total Votes - 10 up - 9 down
    • achillesheal says:

      Parents want to teach their kids in their way on the timeline they best judge to be appropriate. This goes both ways (pun intended). We were attending a church in which a Sunday schoolteacher discussed the outrage of homosexuality without discussing this with parents. We pulled our kids from Sunday school and stopped attending the church. I would have the same reaction if someone broke out the story about the gay penguins in the zoo.

      Let them be kids.

      (-7) 11 Total Votes - 2 up - 9 down
      • Slowerfaster says:

        Why ? Do you worry about your kids becoming penguins ?

        (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.