For once I'm ahead of the game! Usually I don't realize it's Banned Book Week until it's already partway through the week. Not this year!
Banned Books Week 2011 starts this Saturday, September 24, and ends October 1. The ALA lists the top banned books by year, so I already found out what the top ten for 2010 were:
1) And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
3) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
4) Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
6) Lush, by Natasha Friend
7) What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
8) Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich
9) Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie
10) Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
And Tango Makes Three, a kids' picture book about a non-traditional family, has been first or second on the list every year since 2006. Sad, but not surprising for our homophobic country. Revolutionary Voices also supports gay culture, so it's not surprising that it's on this list, either — although it's an older book, I expect some teachers must have tried to teach it in class, and caused an uproar.
I'm not sure what Nickel and Dimed is doing on this list — it's an adult nonfiction book, not to mention an older book, about how it's actually pretty much impossible to pay even the minimum living expenses on minimum wage jobs. I guess parents don't want their kids knowing how important college is? Though I suppose it's more likely that they don't want their kids knowing how poor the poor really are in our supposedly great country.
Every year I try to read at least one book on the list. On this year's list, I've already read Twilight and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (and I'm really not sure what landed the latter on this list), and of course Nickel and Dimed. I'm intrigued by Crank, Lush, and What My Mother Doesn't Know, but I think this week I'll probably read The Hunger Games, since I already have it and it's been on my reading list for quite some time now.
What about you? Will you celebrate Banned Books Week by reading one of the top ten challenged books for 2010 — or one of the frequently challenged classics — and if so, what are you planning to read?