Banned Books Week

It’s hard to believe that in the year 2020, people still try to ban books in schools, libraries, and bookstores. Yet, it still happens today.

The American Library Association (ALA) launched Banned Books Week in 1982 to celebrate the freedom to read and highlighting the value of free and open access to information. ALA publishes the lists to draw attention to literary censorship, but ALA officials stress that the annual report provides only a snapshot of book challenges, with ALA acknowledging that most challenges go unreported. In 2019, ALA reported a 17% increase in the number of challenges to library, school, and university materials and services—with an uptick in the number of challenged books that included or addressed LGBTQ+ content.

Here is full list of the top 100 most challenged and banned books of the last decade (2010-2019):

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  2. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  4. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  5. George by Alex Gino
  6. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  7. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  8. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
  9. Internet Girls (series) by Lauren Myracle
  10. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  11. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  12. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  13. I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel
  14. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  15. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  16. Bone (series) by Jeff Smith
  17. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  18. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  19. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
  20. Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg
  21. Alice McKinley (series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  22. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris
  23. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
  24. Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz
  25. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  26. A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  27. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
  28. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  29. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  30. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  31. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
  32. It’s a Book by Lane Smith
  33. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  34. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  35. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
  36. A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer
  37. Bad Kitty (series) by Nick Bruel
  38. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
  39. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
  40. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  41. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by Dav Pilkey
  42. This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
  43. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
  44. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
  45. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  46. Goosebumps (series) by R.L. Stine
  47. In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco
  48. Lush by Natasha Friend
  49. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  50. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  51. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  52. The Holy Bible
  53. This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson
  54. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  55. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  56. Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily von Ziegesar
  57. House of Night (series) by P.C. Cast
  58. My Mom’s Having a Baby by Dori Hillestad Butler
  59. Neonomicon by Alan Moore
  60. The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake
  61. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  62. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  63. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
  64. Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle
  65. Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
  66. Fade by Lisa McMann
  67. The Family Book by Todd Parr
  68. Feed by M.T. Anderson
  69. Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
  70. Habibi by Craig Thompson
  71. House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  72. Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman
  73. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  74. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  75. Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter
  76. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan
  77. Stuck in the Middle by Ariel Schrag
  78. The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal
  79. 1984 by George Orwell
  80. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  81. Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
  82. Awakening by Kate Chopin
  83. Burned by Ellen Hopkins
  84. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  85. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  86. Glass by Ellen Hopkins
  87. Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesle´a Newman
  88. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  89. Madeline and the Gypsies by Ludwig Bemelmans
  90. My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis
  91. Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack
  92. Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology by Amy Sonnie
  93. Skippyjon Jones (series) by Judith Schachner
  94. So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins
  95. The Color of Earth (series) by Tong-hwa Kim
  96. The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
  97. The Walking Dead (series) by Robert Kirkman
  98. Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
  99. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen
  100. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

To celebrate this week, add some of these books to reading your list! As the theme of this week says, “Censorship is a dead end. Find your freedom to read!”

Charles Dickens

Happy birthday to Charles Dickens! This great novelist was born today in 1812.

He brought us with some of the most memorable fictional characters of all times and known as one of the greatest novelist of the Victorian Era.

My personal favorite Dickens classics is A Tale of Two Cities. I remember vividly reading this book in high school (many years ago) and struck by his use of the language and words. In particular, I love his opening! The images, the pace, the words just ring magic.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

To celebrate his birthday, pick up one his classics and enjoy it! Maybe enjoy it with a cup a tea!

 

Day For Moms

Literature shares us with so many wonderful stories and people. In fact, we have met a number of pretty awesome mothers in fiction over the years.  Here are a few of them:

  • Molly Weasley, Harry Potter series
  • Margaret March, Little Women
  • Mrs. Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
  • Kanga, Winnie-the-Pooh
  • Dr. Murry, A Wrinkle in Time
  • Mrs. Quimby, Ramona
  • Ma Ingalls, Little House on the Prairie

Many other awesome moms exist out there in fiction.  What other fictional moms should we add to this list here?

Cheers to all the real moms out there today! Hopefully you get some time to read a great book today! Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 in England.  She authored six books and these books continue to be revered today. Her books include Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, and Mansfield Park.

Jane’s father encouraged her writing back then and even bought her expensive paper and pencils even when the family needed the extra money. She used her father’s library frequently by reading lots of books.

I distinctly remember reading Pride and Prejudice many, many years ago. I loved that book! I dreamt about meeting my own Mr. Darcy some day. But, I also remember Jane’s great sense of wit and wisdom in her writing throughout her novels.

Enjoy a few quotes from Jane Austen’s works:

“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”
Sense and Sensibility

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
Pride and Prejudice

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
Northanger Abbey 

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”
Pride and Prejudice

To celebrate her birthday, go out and read (or reread) one of her great books!

 

Dewey Decimal Day

Happy Dewey Decimal System Day!

Melvil Dewey was born on this day in 1851. In 1873, he invented the most widely used library classification system called the Dewey Decimal System. It is used in more than 140 countries and translated into more than 30 different languages.

The system places the books on the shelf by subject using numbers from 000 to 999. It is called “Decimal” because it uses numbers to the right of the decimal point for more detail. Each subject has its own set of numbers.

dewey_books

For fun, I looked up my thesis book at my university’s library and it’s number is 361.4 A756a1999.   😉

Next time you’re at the library, check out the call number on your book and know that this system was created back in 1873!