have you bought a banned book today?

This is Banned Books Week, which is an annual event here in America that celebrates the importance of freedom. You know, that silly 1st Amendment? Yeah, that.

Here is the list of last year’s most challenged books.

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
2. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
3. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
4. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence
5. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence
6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
7. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
8. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group
9. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
10. Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group

Which challenged book are you going to buy? I have to say, it kills me that the #1 book is about a pair of male penguins who just want to hatch an egg of their own. The #1 challenged book is ABOUT LOVE but it’s banned because it’s about *whispers in an appropriate southern manner* “H-O-M-O-SEXUAL LOVE.”

Ouch. I just hurt myself when I rolled my eyes.

I haven’t been notified of any challenges to BITE ME! yet, but I did receive one hate mail letter last year. (Yes, before my book even came out. She took offense to my blog) I was told that my book will NEVER see a shelf in her town and her children will NEVER read me because I was a disgrace to mothers everywhere. I just laughed because frankly, my sons would probably agree with her from time to time. And as a parent, she has the right to refuse her kids my awesomeness. But I’d bet my last dollar my book is in her library and on a shelf in a bookstore somewhere in her little Texas town… that pesky little 1st Amendment. It gets in the way of everything!

Go. Buy a challenged book. Support intellectual and creative freedom. Just because a book might not be right for you or your child, doesn’t mean it isn’t right for someone else.

Here’s a list of the top 100 challenged books from 1990-1999. It blows me away every time I read it.

And here’s a list of challenged classics. Seriously. Some people need to get a life. If you don’t like what you’re watching: change the channel. If you don’t like what you’re reading: put the book down.

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