New Year’s Resolutions! Reading off the Banned Book List!

Hi there! I’m not sharing a review today, just more navel-gazing from me.

See, I grew up in a time when books for kids/young adults were going through a tremendous transition. They were being written FOR young adults, with young adult issues in mind. And, sometimes, these issues freaked the heck out of their parents and Good Concerned Citizens joined marches and book bannings and even book burnings to rid the world of such “filth.”


Banned books meme 2Censorship doesn’t hold with me, and I don’t hold with it.

I got into touch with this experience recently when I delved into QUILLON’S COVERT, a contemporary gay incestuous romance. It’s fully consensual, tender and considerate, and unsuitable for sale on most book sellers. That, in itself, is a form of censorship.

Banned Book MemeSo, I’ve long considered banned books and taboo books for a bit. I’ve never made a practice, per se, of engaging in reading “banned books” because I pick up stuff that appeals to me, even if it’s way out there. A lot of these books are erotic in nature, but there are plenty of non-erotic books that are part of the Banned Book list. Thing is, most of my reads are for newly released books–so they haven’t had time to become “challenged” by readers and the Establishment. As part of my 2016 resolutions, I’m going to pick up some of these from time to time and share my thoughts on the blog–reviews and criticisms. I hope you’ll join me in this little quest and it will spark some discussion.

Other choices will include books that I think might FIND their way to this list in the future.

Here’s a preview, taken from the American Libraries Association’s list:
The 2014 Top 10 Frequently Challenged Books
1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying.”

2. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”.

banned books meme 43. And Tango Makes Three Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”

4. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”

5. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleged child pornography”

6. Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

7. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”

9. A Stolen Life Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

10. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit

I hope you’ll join me in considering reading books that fall into that controversial space, and share those titles with me!

Banned books meme 3

7 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions! Reading off the Banned Book List!

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is actually a required reading book in my kids’ high school. I didn’t realize that the school was so forward thinking.

  2. It was one the required reading books for my eldest when he was a freshman in high school. He really liked it. And Persepolis was assigned for my second son in seventh grade. Guess I’ll be going “back to school” with this project!

  3. I have read two: Persepolis, which should be on everyone’s must-read list, and Drama. Sexually explicit? Hardly! I can’t even remember if anyone so much as kisses in that book.

    Saga is on my to read shelves.

    I don’t think I have read Bluest Eye but banning Toni Morrison is ridiculous. Greatest living American writer? There’s a strong case to be made.

    I applaud your mission! I trust you’ll share reviews?

    • Yes, I will share my thoughts on all the banned books I pick up. I have plans to get out to the library today! Honestly, my six year old really wants to read AND TANGO MAKES THREE, mostly because he loves penguins…

      I remember reading your review of Persepolis and being intrigued, so now I’m really getting on it.

  4. I love Persepolis. The Bluest Eye. Toni Morrison. Nothing more to say. I saw the movie of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I loved it. I think the author wrote the screenplay and directed the movie. You have selected some great books.


    • I’m excited to get started…and come to find my library can’t find PERSEPOLIS!! Supposedly on the shelf, and yet, not there. I wondered if this was an error or a plot! So, I reserved it and they’ll dig me up a copy as soon as possible. I’m really looking forward to this endeavor. Thanks for your good wishes, and Happy New Year, Janie!!

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