Top Ten: Banned Books

Top 10

If you look on the Internet for a top ten list of banned books you’ll find about a thousand different lists with all different books on them. So here’s another one.

In no particular order, here is a list of ten of the most common books to be banned.

All the books on this list appear on more than one list of most commonly banned books and have been censored or banned in more than one year.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

1) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie

Several schools in various states in the U.S. have either tried to ban or successfully banned this book from school libraries due to the racism, alcohol/drug use, vulgar language, and sexually explicit content depicted in the book.

2) Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

I talk about this book a bit yesterday, but my research for this post found that there is a multitude of reasons this has been banned or censored. From sexually explicit language to offensive stereotypes to simply lacking literary merit, Huxley’s novel gets no free passes.

3) And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parrell

I talked about this book a lot last Banned Books Week and you can read that post here. This one gets challenged and censored often due to it’s depiction of homosexuality.

4) The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

Underage drinking/drug use, cursing, being sexually explicit, and homosexuality are the main reasons this book has been pulled from so many school libraries.

The Catcher in the Rye

5) The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

This book is the perfect example of what I said a few days ago. You ban a book and tell people they can’t read it and they’ll want to read it even more. With it’s constant challenge of authority and obscene language, The Catcher in the Rye has been called countless names and has even been accused of being the reason behind a few murders. It is constantly being removed from schools and yet it is still the second most taught book in schools. Ironic, isn’t it?

6) Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

Seeing this book on so many banned books lists just makes me so much happier that I read it. Challenged and banned due to it’s crude language, sexuality, and violence, this book is often removed from school after parental and teacher complaints.

7) The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

Showing up on many lists for years, The Hunger Games has been banned due to being sexually explicit and for containing violence.

8) What My Mother Doesn’t Know, Sonya Sores

I’d never heard of this book before, but it kept showing up on the yearly censored books lists. It has been challenged in the U.S. due to sexually explicit content (what a shock) and sexism.

Scary Stories

9) Scary Stories Series, Alvin Schwartz

Banned due to it’s violent content as well as insensitivity and Satanism. They know the stories are fake, right?

10) Captain Underpants, Dav Pilkey

Banned and censored because it’s sexually explicit (apparently) and contains offensive language (apparently).

You know what reasons showed up on almost every book? Not just these ten, but every book I saw on the websites I looked at. You know what the reasons are? ‘Sexually Explicit” and “Not suitable for age group”.

Can someone please explain to me what sexually explicit it? Cause I’ve read The Hunger Games, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Captain Underpants and I’m so confused as to how they fall into the same category.

Now, 50 Shades of Grey? That’s sexually explicit. Captain Underpants? Unless you’re read ’50 Shades of Underpants’ you’re going to have to tell me just how that’s sexually explicit.

And ‘unsuited to age group’? Come on people! The publisher obviously thought it was suited to the age group otherwise they wouldn’t have published it as such. And all the people who buy it and have no issue clearly think it’s suitable for the age group the books are aimed at.

If you think it’s unsuitable for your child, don’t read it to your child or don’t let your child read it. It’s 2015, stop banning books.

Have you read any of the books on this list?

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The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

Hunger_games1984, A Clockwork Orange, Planet of the Apes. All novels with a dystopian setting. Of course, writing dystopia didn’t end in the 1900s, to this day it is still an incredibly popular genre to write and read about. One such book is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

The Hunger Games takes place in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem which has been divided into twelve (previously thirteen) districts and a place called The Capitol. Each year, two children are chosen from each district to represent their people in something called “The Hunger Games”, an event meant to remind the people in the districts that The Capitol holds all the power. The story follows Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen year old girl from District Twelve who volunteers in place of her twelve year old sister, Primrose, to enter the Games.

While many novels manage to capture the atrocities that happen in a dystopian society, something The Hunger Games does is it throws children right in the middle of the fight. All children chosen to fight in The Games are between twelve and eighteen. Twenty-four children go into the arena and only one comes out. While all novels in this genre feature awful things happening to people, I’m not sure it can really get much worse than children killing each other. Of course, the general premise of this book isn’t what really keeps the reader hooked. That would be the characters.

The two main characters are Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the two champions chosen from District Twelve. The wonderful thing about these two characters is that they seem to balance each other out. While Katniss is hard and doesn’t trust easily, Peeta is friendly and, even though he appears shy, is quite the enigmatic speaker. Of course, nothing these two do would mean much of anything if it weren’t for the other characters in the novel.

First is Katniss’s best friend, Gale, who hates The Games and wants nothing more than to run away to the forest. Then there’s Katniss’s sister, Primrose, who Katniss saves from the reaping. At only twelve years old, Prim is very childlike and the idea of The Games still scares her. Next is Haymitch, a previous champion of The Hunger Games, he is now mentor to Katniss and Peeta as they go through it. Working with Haymitch is Effie Trinket, a woman from The Capitol assigned to supervise the champions from District Twelve. Finally, there the other children who join Katniss and Peeta in the arena. One girl in particular stands out; twelve year old Rue becomes a friend and ally to Katniss while they are in The Games as the little girl reminds Katniss so much of her sister.

Now, these characters aren’t the only things that had be hooked on this book. Suzanne Collins writes brilliant dialogue and wonderful descriptions. When she describes the settings her novel, from District Twelve to The Capitol, you can see it in your mind as you are reading. You can see the dirt and coal dust in District Twelve; the obnoxious colours and decorations around The Capitol; even the tall trees in the arena that Katniss finds sanctuary in. Everything Collins describes is done in a way to make sure the reader knows exactly what is happening and what everything looks like. As for the dialogue, Collins’s characters come to life when they speak and she gives them all such unique personalities that you can’t help but be intrigued.

An excellent novel, The Hunger Games is the first in Collins’s trilogy, followed by Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Now a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who likes an adventure. From the open you turn to the first page, Suzanne Collins has you hooked, and you will want to keep reading all the way to the end to find out just who it is that wins The Hunger Games.

Have you read The Hunger Games? What did you think?


Buy The Hunger Games on Amazon


Check out Suzanne Collins website

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