Sadly, according to the American Library Association there were 513 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom just in 2008. The top ten contested books were:
- And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
- His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
- TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
- Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
- Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
- Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
- Uncle Bobby's Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
- The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
- Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
Other books that were banned or challenged last year were J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” John Grisham’s “A Time To Kill,” and J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. Many, many books have been challenged or banned in some places, including beloved classics. Check out the ALA's Frequently Challenged Books section.
The banning of books threaten the freedom of speech and expression. For society and civilization to thrive, we need to be able to freely exchange ideas. Also, I just generally don't agree with trying to put books in a corner (or a fire). So go ahead to Amazon.com, where every one of these books are still available for purchase. Read something someone else thinks is inappropriate.
Or perhaps you already have?
The 2009 celebration of Banned Books Week is September 26 through October 3.