Friday, August 18, 2006

Book Sense Names Banned Book Top Ten

Every year, the ALA and Book Sense (among others) sponsor Banned Books Week, which begins on Sunday, September 24. Book Sense, meanwhile, releases a list of their "top ten" favorite banned books. Here's this year's list:

The Fall 2006 Banned Books Book Sense Top Ten Picks

1. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, by Harper Lee (Harper Perennial, $12.95 paper, 0060935464; Deluxe Paperback Classic edition, $15.95, 0061120081) "One of my all-time favorite books is also on the list compiled by the American Library Association of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books. Do yourself a favor and read Lee's novel, which examines prejudice and racial injustice and which reminds us of the difference one person can make." --Patti McCall, Queen Anne Books, Seattle, WA

2. GEOGRAPHY CLUB, by Brent Hartinger (Harper Tempest, $6.99 paper, 0060012234) "Repeatedly challenged by school districts, and in 2005 banned in a Tacoma, Washington school, Geography Club is one of the few young adult novels dealing with gay teens in a straightforward, engaging storyline. An important book for and about a group of young readers who have few other titles that speak to them." --Cheryl McKeon, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

3. THE GIVER, by Lois Lowry (Laurel Leaf, $6.50 paper, 0440237688) "This book about a 12-year-old boy singled out by his community for a special role conveys a powerful message and should be read by all who are concerned about government going too far." --Elizabeth Taylor, Poor Richard's Books, Frankfort, KY

4. THE STORY OF LITTLE BLACK SAMBO, by Helen Bannerman, Christopher H. Bing (Illus.) (Handprint Books, $17.95, 1929766556) "This edition of Bannerman's story features illustrations from Caldecott Honor-winning artist Bing and will be welcomed by all those who read it as a child or had it read to them. It spells out why the book fell into disfavor and how the illustrator viewed the story and how his work reflects it." --Dorothy Dickerson, Books & More, Albion, MI

5. THE BLUEST EYE, by Toni Morrison (Plume, $14 paper, 0452282195) "This novel from the Nobel Laureate is an absolutely brutal depiction of a young black girl's desire to be 'pretty.'" --Donna Hawley, Howard's Bookstore, Bloomington, IN

6. BRAVE NEW WORLD, by Aldous Huxley (Harper Perennial, $13.95 paper, 0060929871; Deluxe Paperback Classic edition, $13.95, 0060850523) "Huxley's novel of a utopian World State explains the world and creates characters with whom you will empathize. Beautiful!" --Katie Redding, Top Shelf Books, Palatine, IL

7. FOREVER, by Judy Blume (Pocket, $6.99 paper, 0671695304; Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $17.95 hardcover, 0689849737) "Blume's brilliance is that she writes frankly about teenage sexuality. But, beyond that, Forever is about teens taking responsibility for their lives and dealing with the consequences of their actions. Still controversial, this novel continues to speak to readers today." --Sweet Pea Flaherty, King's Books, Tacoma, WA

8. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $8.99 paper, 059035342X) "God bless J.K. Rowling, who has brought millions of children and adults around the world to books and reading. Her Harry Potter books have set children's imaginations alight -- and have created an extraordinary new batch of both readers and writers of fantasy fiction." --Elisabeth Grant-Gibson, Windows A Bookshop, Monroe, LA

9. WE, by Yevgeny Zamyatin (Modern Library, $12.95 paper, 081297462X) "One of the very first dystopian novels ever written, and the only full-length novel ever completed by the Russian writer Zamyatin, who was constantly under arrest or exiled for his subversive writing. It's the story of D-503, a mathematician who falls in love and then must decide between his new love and his beloved state." --Michael Karpus, Books & Books at Bal Harbour Shops, Bal Harbour, FL

10. WHALE TALK, by Chris Crutcher (Laurel Leaf, $6.50 paper, 0440229383) "In a war between the jocks and the freaks, T.J. Jones gradually becomes a wise and fair 'Everyman,' representing all that is good in our society. This book should be required reading for every freak, geek, and jock living the American dream/ nightmare of high school." --Collette Morgan, Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, MN

Truthfully, I had to laugh when I saw my book, GEOGRAPHY CLUB, come in on the list at #2. Right after TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD? I mean, come on!

Interestingly, I did my college thesis on BRAVE NEW WORLD, coming in at #6. Incidentally, what kind of name is "Aldous" anyway? I should know that, huh?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have made a goal for myself to read all the books on the ALA's 100 Top Banned books, which actually comes out to a lot more than 100. I am using both the 1990-1999 and 1990-2000 lists, which I think comes to 107 listings (plus titles that are actually series).

I am going to encourage my coworkers (elementary school teachers) to read one of the books from this Top Ten List this fall. I have read 3, 7, and 8. I will go for 1, 4, and 6 this fall, because I know I can get my hands on them easily.

Thanks for the list. I really want to encourage my students to read more of the books on the list, but most of the books are too old for my 6 - 12 year olds.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Disco Mermaids said...

Yay! This year I only have to add three books to my Must Read list.

- Jay

7:43 AM  
Blogger Lisa Yee said...

Kudos to Lady S, may your reading list be fascinating, informative and fulfilling!

And to our own Brent Hartinger, congrats. You are in great company.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second Lisa Yee's congratulations to Brent H for making the top ten banned reading list. Perhaps even more folks will become aware of your ground-breaking book!


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