Quick, what do the following ten books have in common?

ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle

The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa

The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins

My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler

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

Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones

Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Have you figured it out? These are the most challenged books in 2011 on the American Library Association (ALA). According to the ALA, “there were 326 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2011, and many more go unreported.”

Honestly, do people not have anything better to do than to complain they are offended for various reasons that are important to them personally. Books are condemned for language, racism, violence, sexual content and “unsuited to age group” to name a few.

Welcome to the tail end of Banned Book Week! Sorry I didn’t get this post out to you good people earlier, it has been a very busy week. But you have one more day to run out and buy, borrow or download your favorite banned book.

Go to their website and look at the list of books that have been banned since the ALA started keeping track in 1982. Yep, this is the 30th Anniversary of Banned Book Week – so join in! http://bannedbooksweek.org/about

According to the Bing.com dictionary, BAN means to forbid something officially orlegally so it can’t be done, used seen or READ.

Sounds ominous doesn’t it? It is. I don’t want anyone telling me what I can and cannot read. That is one of the freedoms we enjoy in the US. Or do we? If the “challengers” had their way, we could be spared such classics as The Great Gatsby, Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn…you get the idea.

These people don’t know me or you in all likelihood. How can they possibly know what is going to offend me? Or offend you? If said complainers don’t like a particular book, they don’t have to read it. Nor do they have to allow their children to read it. But they don’t have the right to deny the rights of everyone else to make up his or her own mind.

I was so fortunate to have a mother who loved to read. And she encouraged me to read. By the time I was in sixth grade, she let me read Phyllis A Whitney books, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazines and P.G. Wodehouse to name a few. She went so far as signing a special permission slip for me to check out books from the adult section of the public library so I could read the mysteries I loved.

I appreciate everyone’s right to his or her opinion. If you don’t like a book write a review that explains why. But actually read it first.

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So, take a look back up to the list of the ten “worst” books of 2011 – how many have you read? I’ve read two of them and bought one of the others to read in the future. You have one more day to celebrate Banned Book Week. You are free to celebrate it any way you chose to do.