Today is the start of Banned Books Week, so I thought I'd take some time to highlight a few of the children's books that have been challenged or banned throughout the years. The Harry Potter series tops the Top 100 Most Challenged/Banned Books from the past decade. According to an article on Yahoo News yesterday, "The series has been challenged for occultism, Satanism, violence, being anti-family and having religious viewpoint."
Another popular children's book series that appears on the list is Captain Underpants. According to that same article, "The books were said to contain offensive language, to be sexually explicit and to be anti-family." I actually took a trip to the library today to pick up The Adventures of Captain Underpants. I've never read this series but plan to read this first book in the series with C this week in support of Banned Books Week.
Earlier in the year, I read Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach to C. He seemed to like it and I didn't find anything wrong with it. But it's on the list of Most Frequently Challenged Books from 1990-1999. Why? According to that Yahoo article, it's because "James was disobedient and there was violence in the book."
Classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, A Wrinkle in Time and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are also on the list. And a more recent popular series: Junie B. Jones. I know some of the girls in C's class enjoy those books. I'm not sure of the reason for challenging that one. The only thing I can find is that parents don't like the poor use of grammar. But there must be some other reason, right???
So how do you feel about all of this? Have you read any of these challenged books to your kids? Do you plan to read any of the most frequently challenged books this week? In addition to Captain Underpants, I also picked up The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I saw it on my library's Banned Books Week table today and figured it was short enough for me to get through this week.
What have you been reading with your children this week? Hop on over to Mouse Grows Mouse Learns to share!