It's Banned Books Week, and you know what that means - time to read a banned book!
What is a banned book, you might ask? It is a book that someone, somewhere in this great big country of ours, has asked to be removed (or restricted) in a public or school library. Sometimes people get the notion that if they dislike a book, nobody else should read it either. I know, crazy!
The American Libraries Association keeps track of book challenges that they find out about, and each year they compile a list of the top 10 most frequently challenged books. The list for 2012, which included 464 separate challenges, included three YA novels;
#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
#7 - Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
These are all amazing books. Looking for Alaska won the Printz Award (for excellence in Young Adult literature), and isn't even John Green's best book, in my opinion.
Thirteen Reasons Why is a devastating picture of teen suicide and should be on every teen's must-read list if you ask me.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is not something I've read yet, but it won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2007.
These are some amazing books, I can heartily recommend all three of them.
Support freedom of speech, read a banned book!