Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Banned Books Week!

I used to blog about Banned Books Week every year, but looking through my old posts, I see it has been a while.  I just found out it was Banned Books Week from an announcement on another blog, but it has been a while since I've "celebrated," so I decided to read a frequently challenged book.

My criteria for making a decision were that the book had to be an ebook (so I can start reading right away), had to be affordable (I hate paying more for an ebook than I would for a paperback), and had to be a fairly fast read.  I also preferred to read something I either haven't read before, or haven't read for a very long time.  All of the books in the top ten list of banned books for 2009 were either ones I'd already read, not available in ebook form, or too expensive ($13 for The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things?!), so I headed over to the list of challenged classics.

There were a few on the list that I already had in my ebook collection, thanks to Barnes & Nobles free classic ebooks promotion (which ended September 14th — I'm still sad about that).  However, I eventually settled on The Awakening.  I may have read it or part of it in high school, but what I don't remember won't hurt me!

(Anyone notice, by the way, that Huckleberry Finn is not on that list of challenged classics?  Very odd.  I was pretty sure that was something like one of the most frequently challenged classics ever.)

Anyway, here is a cute video listing the top ten challenged books of 2009, with explanations of why each one was challenged.  There are a few classics (To Kill a Mockingbird and The Catcher in the Rye), and of course the Twilight Saga, but I was surprised to see my favorite Jodi Picoult book, My Sister's Keeper, on the list.  It's not a young adult book by any means, but I suspect since a recent movie was based on it (a generous statement, since I hear they changed the most pivotal plot twist in the book), a lot of high school English teachers were probably teaching the book in their classes, in the usual desperate attempt to interest today's kids in reading.

Anyway, enjoy the video — and if you are reading a banned book this week to celebrate, please share your choice in the comments!


Kathy@TheFlawlessWord said...

I've read all of the top five and many on the list, including The Awakening. It deals with suicide (hope that's not a spoiler), so I can somewhat understand that one. Charlotte's Web though. Why?

Katharine Swan said...

No worries, I knew how The Awakening ends, though I'm still not sure if I read it or just read about it. I started reading it while I was eating lunch, and so far I'm enjoying it!

I noticed Charlotte's Web too, but it wasn't in bold, which I think means they suspect it of being challenged, but have no reports of it at the moment. I can't think of why either, but then, I'm always amazed at the reasons when books are challenged. I guess I should stop being surprised simply by virtue of always being surprised.


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