This is the last day of Banned Books Week. Yes, I'm always the last one to jump on the banned wagon. Ha ha! I slay me! "Banned" wagon! Get it?
Ahem. Anyway, in a celebration of the fight against censorship of books, here is a meme that everyone can enjoy, and they don't even have to be invited. (Just ask Orac.) List the top 100 most frequently challenged books from the last decade, and indicate with boldface or whatever other method you prefer which ones you've read. You will, in so doing, have stuck it to the Man. Well, not really, but hell, it's something to do, isn't it? See how many subversive and wicked books you've read!
And here's my list.
1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier - a very engrossing book about school bullying.
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - anyone who wants to ban this is un-American. This is the one and only Great American Novel.
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - hey, life's not fair sometimes. Read about it.
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - I don't remember much about this book, I read it so long ago, but I remember it being terribly sad.
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger - I read this book at least eight times my freshman and sophomore years alone. Don't worry, though, I never had any desire to assassinate rock stars.
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard - I agree that this series is not the most appropriate thing in the world for some early childhood kids. If you think that's the case, don't read it to them! Why do people feel the need to make decisions for other people too?
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume - another one that tells about bullying and name-calling like it is, so "concerned adults" feel the need to stop all kids from hearing about it. Oh, but they'll live it, all right. They just can't read about it.
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan - "If we allow this book in our libraries, soon all the kids will be killing their teachers, too! Won't somebody please think of the children?!?"
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - oh, no, we can't have kids reading that our justice system was at one time racist and corrupt! Heavens!
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - "If we allow this book in our libraries, soon all the kids will be engaging in gang wars!"
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel - I remember reading this in school, sometime around the Renaissance. Isn't it a tale of social injustice, too? I sense a pattern here...
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes - it's always scariest when the challenged book is an imaginary tale, like science fiction. That's when the censors' true colors show: they hate ideas.
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein - Light verse? In our classrooms??! With whimsical illustrations??! What's the world coming to?
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl - what kind of monster would allow children to read a book about a child who has a bad childhood and seeks refuge in a colossal fruit with a bunch of talking insects?
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume - "For the last time, adolescence is not a period of trouble and insecurity! Stop writing these lying books that say it is!"
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende - I just recently read this, and it's one of the best novels I have ever read. I'm assuming it's challenged because it dares implicate America as a supporter of the cruel dictatorship that takes over in the book.
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut - "Hey, war doesn't scar veterans! Especially WWII vets! They're the Greatest Generation, you know? WWII vets don't think of war as an atrocity! Who is this Vonnegut guy, some starry-eyed hippie conscientious objector?! What? He was there? Oh."
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding - do the censors challenge this book because they think it's false that kids could degenerate so far so quickly in the absence of authority, or they're afraid that people will find out it's true?
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain - this is the other half of the Great American Novel.
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford - um... what's the problem here? Are there tiny pornographic pictures hidden in those illustrations or something?
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman - yes, at one time this was considered appropriate for kids. I believe in portraying our history warts and all.
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell - "If we allow this book in our libraries, soon all the kids will..." Oh, never mind.
97. The Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier