Banned Books Week: A Look Back at the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2010

Banned Books Week is August 24 – October 1 this year.

Infographic: Top Ten Banned or Challenged Books of 2010 (via The Huffington Post)

A visually impressive and illuminating infographic, indeed. Interesting to see that among repeat challenge favorites–like the nefariously adorable gay penguin family picture book, And Tango Makes Three–there are also some surprising (to me, at least) entries, such as Brave New World and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

As a side tangent, based on this handy break-down of the most challenged books and the most-cited reasons that they were challenged: Many people tend to think of censorship challenges as only coming from ‘conservative’ individuals, but as the chart reveals, these challenges come from all sides of the religious/political/social spectrum. Books here are being challenged because they are “inaccurate,” or “racist,” or “insensitive,” or strongly represent a “religious viewpoint.” (These things may be true about each book, of course, although it doesn’t necessarily follow that you then ban that book.)

I actually had an assignment in library school where, pretending to be the head librarian at a school library,  I had to draft a response to a group of parents who wanted to challenge books glorifying gun violence. In this hypothetical scenario, the parents said that they tell their children to borrow the books from the library, and simply not return them. I think they even said they’d pay the late fines. Apparently, this is a very common way that people choose to self-censor in libraries.


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