Top 10 Most Banned Books: 2016

Well, here we are again, folks. It’s banned books week. Once again I’m here with a new post listing the top 10 most challenged books during the previous year. During 2016 there were 323 recorded challenges by the ALA and they have brought us a new crop of frequently challenged books. The The Holy Bible had been removed from the list this year. However, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a book or series of books being challenged because of the “criminal sexual allegations against the author“. I think it is also worth noting that half of the list are illustrated.

2016

  1. This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
    Reasons: Includes LGBT characters, drug use, profanity, sexually explicit with mature themes.
  2. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: Includes LGBT characters, sexually explicit, offensive political viewpoint.
  3. George, by Alex Gino
    Reasons: Includes a transgender child, “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels”.
  4. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    Reasons: Portrays a transgender child, language, sex education, offensive viewpoints.
  5. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Reasons: Cover has an image of two boys kissing, sexually explicit LGBT content.
  6. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation”.
  7. Big Hard Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
    Reasons: Sexually explicit.
  8. Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread, by Chuck Palahniuk
    Reasons: Profanity, sexual explicitness, being “disgusting and all around offensive”.
  9. Little Bill (series), by Bill Cosby and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
    Reasons: Criminal sexual allegations against the author.
  10. Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell
    Reasons: Offensive language.

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Top 10 Most Banned Books: 2015

For many, many years I have put together a list of the top ten most banned books from the previous year, during Banned Books Weak. This year the Office for Intellectual Freedom, did not report the number of challenges (not without buying their official list anyway) so I’m unsure if it has decreased or increased year-over-year. However, this year has brought along a whole new crop of books. This is the first time I recall seeing The Holy Bible being on the list. Anyway here are the top ten:

2015

  1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
  3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
  4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
  6. The Holy Bible
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
  7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
  8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
  10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).

Click these links if you are looking for the top 10 lists for previous years with easy links to Amazon: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001.

Additionally, in 2010, I put together a list of the 100 Most Banned & Challenged Books Of The Decade by aggregating several lists from the American Library Association.

Acrobats far from their mountain home -- grizzly bears in a street at Jacksonville, Florida. [1905] 1870?-1906?

New York Public Library Has Over 670,000 Digitized Items And Some Very Cool Tools To Access Them

Acrobats far from their mountain home -- grizzly bears in a street at Jacksonville, Florida. [1905] 1870?-1906?Acrobats far from their mountain home — grizzly bears in a street at Jacksonville, Florida. [1905] 1870?-1906? via NYPL stereograph collection

Earlier this week the New York Public Library enhanced access to over 670,000 digitized files in its massive database of digital collections. This includes access to free books, paintings, newspaper clippings, digitized streaming video, prints, botanical illustrations, photographs, maps, manuscripts, sheet music, menus, hundreds of thousands of public domain images, and more. Some of the documents date back as far as the 11th century

Best of all, NYPL has created some really cool tools to search, access and utilize the collection.

All of the Public Domain items are “No permission required. No restrictions on use.” They digitized these items specifically so that people will reuse and remix for your personal projects. So much so that NYPL announced the NYPL Labs PAID Remix Residency for artists, information designers, and software developers that is designed to spur transformative and interesting new uses for their digital collections. If that isn’t enough NYPL is adding high-quality machine-readable metadata to the hundreds of thousands of assets and providing an API!

Well done, NYPL. Go forth and reuse!

via Coudal

Top 10 Most Banned Books: 2014

For the past many years, during Banned Books Weak, I have put together a list of the top ten most banned books of the previous year. Out of 311 challenges (a slight increase from the 307 challenges reported in 2013) as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, here are the top ten:

2014

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”
  2. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi
    Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”
  3. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”
  5. It’s Perfectly Normal (The Family Library), by Robie H. Harris
    Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”
  6. Saga, Vol. 1, by Brian K. Vaughan
    Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  7. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”
  9. A Stolen Life: A Memoir, by Jaycee Dugard
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group
  10. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: sexually explicit

Click these links if you are looking for the top 10 lists for previous years with easy links to Amazon: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001.

Additionally, in 2010, I put together a list of the 100 Most Banned & Challenged Books Of The Decade by aggregating several lists from the American Library Association.

Parent-Friendly Kids Music (For Free!)

This weekend I downloaded this new, and free, children’s album For Kids By Kids: Songs From Iowa Rock City from the Iowa City Public Library. The entire family enjoyed listening to it.

For Kids and By Kids mixes moods and musical styles—from roots music, for which Iowa City is known, to punk, polka, folk, hip-hop, and synth-pop. It not only crosses musical genres, but also generations … Dozens of youths appear on For Kids and By Kids, and we hope that the many more who hear this album will be inspired to pick up an instrument, form their own bands, or do something else creative.

All of the songs are original, spanning all types of genres and moods. The lyrics are not condescending, gratingly repetitive, or infantile. I’m sure we’ll be breaking this one out for listens all summer.

Top 10 Most Banned Books: 2013

For the past few years, during Banned Books Weak, I have put together a list of the top ten most banned books of the previous year. Out of 307 challenges (a decrease from the 464 challenges reported in 2012) as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, here are the top ten:

2013

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

Click these links if you are looking for the top 10 lists for previous years with easy links to Amazon: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001.

Additionally, in 2010, I put together a list of the 100 Most Banned & Challenged Books Of The Decade by aggregating several lists from the American Library Association.

Denver Public Library Lookup Extension

Denver Public Library Lookup Extension

My family is full of voracious readers. We all spend a pretty penny at Amazon.com and related sites buying books we are interested in while our Denver Public Library cards sit dormant in the junk drawer. I wanted a way to save some money and support our local library. So I created a Chrome Extension to do just that. Now when we are about to buy the next book for our book club from our favorite online retailer we can, with one click, check to see if the Denver Public Library branch has it available first.

Use the Denver Public Library Lookup Extension for Chrome to instantly search the Denver Public Library at the same time you’re viewing pages at online bookstores. Get the extension by clicking the button below or by visiting the Chrome Web Store.

Right now this extension is for Google’s Chrome web browser only. If you are using Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari, drag the button below up to your to your bookmarks bar.

More detail instructions and some caveats below.
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Top 10 Most Banned Books: 2012

Another year has gone by and it is Banned Books Week once more. I have been listing the top 10 most challenged books annually on my blog since 2009. I’d be remiss not to do it again. 2012 saw an increase in challenged books. Last year there were 464 challenges reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom (compared to 326 in 2011 and 348 in 2010). You can see the top 10 list below.

2012

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

Click these links if you are looking for the top 10 lists for previous years with easy links to Amazon: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001.

Additionally, in 2010, I put together a list of the 100 Most Banned & Challenged Books Of The Decade by aggregating several lists from the American Library Association.