Join Hafta-Ichi to find out the article “Brave New World among top 10 books Americans most want banned | Books”
Banned in Ireland when it first appeared in 1932, and removed from shelves and objected to ever since, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is still making waves today. The novel of a dystopian future was one of the most complained about books in America last year, with readers protesting over its sexually explicit scenes, “offensive” language and “insensitivity”.
The American Library Association (ALA) has just released its list of the 10 books which Americans tried hardest to ban last year. Topped yet again by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell’s And Tango Makes Three, a picture-book telling the true story of a chick adopted by two male Emperor penguins at New York’s Central Park zoo, the list is a compilation of complaints made to libraries and schools requesting a book be banned because of its content. Dozens of attempts were made to remove And Tango Makes Three from library shelves, said the ALA, with those seeking to ban the title protesting at the “homosexuality” of the two penguins and its “religious viewpoint”.
Parent protests in Missouri over masturbation scenes in Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian helped the award-winning young adult novel into second place in the most-challenged list. Brave New World – ironically, set in a world in which books are banned – made it into the top 10 in third place. Huxley’s novel is no stranger to complaints: in 1980 it was removed from classrooms for making promiscuous sex “look like fun”, and it has been the subject of frequent challenges in the US over the years.
Brave New World is the only classic title in 2010’s list. In 2009, JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird all provoked complaints from angry parents, but last year it was modern bestsellers that caused the most trouble. From Suzanne Collins’s post-apocalyptic hit The Hunger Games to Stephenie Meyer’s vampire bestseller Twilight, American parents have been making it their mission to complain about some of the most popular books published in recent years.
“[It’s] a dubious honour”, said novelist Natasha Friend, whose book Lush – about a teenage girl with an alcoholic father – made the list in sixth place for its mentions of drugs, its “offensive language” and “sexually explicit” scenes. “[But] as my editor at Scholastic says, this is ‘just a part of being a Judy Blume for a new generation!’ I guess I’ll take it.”
There were 348 reports of efforts to remove books from America’s shelves in 2010, down from 460 the previous year. But the ALA believes the majority of challenges go unreported, and called on Americans to “protect one of the most precious of our fundamental rights – the freedom to read”.
“While we firmly support the right of every reader to choose or reject a book for themselves or their families, those objecting to a particular book should not be given the power to restrict other readers’ right to access and read that book,” said Barbara Jones, director of the ALA’s office for intellectual freedom. “As members of a pluralistic and complex society, we must have free access to a diverse range of viewpoints on the human condition in order to foster critical thinking and understanding.”
The ALA’s top 10 most frequently challenged books of 2010
1. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: Insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit
4. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit
5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
6. Lush by Natasha Friend
Reasons: Drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
Reasons: Sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
8. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reasons: Drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint
9. Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: Homosexuality, sexually explicit
10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, violence
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Brave New World among top 10 books Americans most want banned | Books