Censored Books Book Review
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Education - Reading
The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey is a series of children's novels about two fourth graders, George Beard and Harold Hutchins, and the aptly named superhero they accidentally create by hypnotizing their principal, Mr. Krupp. These books are appropriate for child who are age 7 and up. The American Library Association has put the series at no. 8 on its list of most challenged books last year; the list includes books that received the most formal complaints filed with libraries or schools requesting that the books be removed because of inappropriateness. According to the ALA, the complaints filed against the Captain Underpants books cited the series' anti-family content, unsuitability for the age group, and violent content. Captain Underpants series has been banned in some schools for insensitivity and being unsuited to age group, as well as encouraging children to disobey authority (Beerman, 2006).
Junie B. Jones is a children's book series written by Barbara Park. The series follows the title character as she starts first grade and then enters first grade. The adventures are hilarious to children who are beginning readers and are developmentally appropriate for children who are 6 and up. The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar (Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books Goal: "Junie B. Jones," 2011).
3. Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy literature novels written by J.K. Rowling. The books tell of the adventures of a wizard, Harry Potter and his friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger. They are all students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story concerns Harry's quest to overcome the Dark wizard Lord Voldemort, whose aims are to become immortal by destroying anything or anybody who gets in his way. The development age of these books are for children who are 9 and up. In a number of states, there have been attempts, some successful, some unsuccessful, to have the Harry Potter books banned in classrooms, and banned or under severe restrictions, in school libraries. The Harry Potter books were number 7 on the American Library Association's list of the 100 most frequently challenged books of 1990-2000. They are number 1 on the ALA's Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009. Those who are against this series claim that the books are evil and promote an interest in the occult since the hero, Harry Potter, is a wizard (Kennedy, 2012).
4. The Dead Man in Indian Creek by Mary Downing Hahn is a book about two boys who find a dead man at the edge of Indian Creek. They begin a detective hunt in order to find out how did it. Evans, the creepy new boyfriend of Parker's mom was seen at near the scene of the crime but there's no solid evidence that he committed the murder. Parker is convinced that Pam's boyfriend is to blame, and he will not rest until he has proof. This book is appropriate for children who are 8 and up. This book has been challenged at the Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon in 2010 because of the drugs and drug smuggling activities in the book. The book was previously challenged in 1994 in the same school district because of graphic violence, examples of inappropriate parenting and because it was too frightening for elementary students. The book has won awards from the International Reading Association, the Children's Book Council, and the American Library Association (Doyle, 2010).
5. Buster's Sugartime by Marc Brown is children's book that follows Buster as he visits Vermont during "Mud Season" to learn about the state and how maple syrup
is made. This book is developmentally appropriate for children 6 and up. This book was challenged, but retained at the Union, OK. district elementary school libraries (2009) despite a parent's complaint that the book features two same-sex couples and their children (Tulsa Tuesday Gay-Friendly Book Not Banned at Union, 2011).
6. Stolen Children by Peg Kehret is a mystery centered on the kidnapping of thirteen-year-old Amy and her three-year-old babysitting charge. The kidnappers videotape the pair and send the DVDs to their parents for ransom. Amy works to send clues through the videos to help police find them. This book is developmentally appropriate for children 9 and up. The book has been challenged, but retained at the Central York, Pa. School District (2011) despite a parental concern that the book was too violent (Doyle, 2011).
7. Attack of the Mutant Underwear Tom Birdseye is a children's novel where Cody Lee Carlson makes an aattempt to leave his wild and wacky guy reputation behind. Cody has made a personal pledge to change his ways when he goes back to school as a fifth grader, but after he is seen in his underwear in a local store by a female classmate. This book is developmentally appropriate for children that are 7 and up. This book was removed from the Pinellas, Florida school district's Battle of the Books program in 2006 for inappropriate behavior, although the book is on the Sunshine State Young Reader's Award list of books for third- through fifth-graders (Belew, 2007).
8. Goosebumps by R.L. Stein is a series of young adult's horror fiction novellas. The developmentally appropriate age for these books is children who are 9 and up. It is a collection of stories that feature semi-homogenous plot structures, with fictional children being involved in scary situations. Themes in the series include horror, humor and the supernatural. This series is listed at number 16 on the American Library Association's most challenged books of the 1990's due to its violence (Sager, n.d.).
9. Blubber by Judy Blume is a young adult novel about a girl named Jill who joins her classmates in ostracizing and bullying Linda, an awkward and overweight girl. Linda gives an oral class report about whales and is hence nicknamed "Blubber" by her peers. This book is developmentally appropriate for children who are 8 and up. The book has been banned because the characters curse and the mean-spirited ringleader is never punished for her cruelty (Banned Books, 2012).
10. Life is Funny by E.R. Frank is a young adult novel involving eleven teenagers who attend a high school in Brooklyn, NY each relate the story of their sometimes-intertwined lives over a period of seven years. This book is developmentally appropriate for children aged 7 and up. This book was pulled from the shelves of two Merced (CA) middle-school libraries because of an "X-rated" passage describing two teens' first experience with sexual intercourse (Banned Book Week, 2005).
11. Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park is a young adult novel tells the story of a family that must come to terms with the death of one of its members in a bicycle accident. The story is told from the viewpoint of Mick Harte's sister, Phoebe. Phoebe tells the story of the aftermath of Mick's death in a way that is both sarcastically humorous and heart wrenching. This novel is developmentally appropriate for children who are 8 and up. This book was challenged, but retained at the Centennial Elementary School library in Fargo (ND) after parents complained to school officials that the book contains themes and language inappropriate for elementary students (Banned Book Week, 2005).
12. Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes is a children's novel is about a girl named Martha and her visit to her grandmother's house one summer. This book is developmentally appropriate for children aged 8-10. Olive's Ocean was number 59 on the list for the most challenged book from 2000-2009 due to…
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