Books by Sherman Alexie and Toni Morrison Make List of Most Banned Books

Posted on April 14, 2015

The American Library Association has released its 2015 State of America's Libraries Report. The annual report discusses how perception of America's libraries is changing over time, as well as other trends. It also released the annual list of the most banned books.

The number one most challenged book in 2014 was The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. The reasons given for the title being banned at schools included being Anti-family, containing cultural insensitivity, and that the books mentions or contains depictions of smoking, sexual activities, drug and alcohol use and offensive language. Some banned the book for depictions of bullying.

Author Sherman Alexie is pretty happy about being number one this year tweeting, "I am the proud author of the most banned/challenged book of 2014!"

The ALA report notes that its Office of Intellectual Freedom is seeing an increasing number of challenges to books written by diverse authors and books which have diverse characters. The group says that books that have main characters who are not white, straight or able bodied are much more likely to be banned.

Rounding out the top five most banned books are Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard also made the top ten.

Many of the schools' objections to the banned books are that the books are too mature for the age group, are too explicit and contain references to substance abuse and LGBT issues. The authors on the banned list are in good company. Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. The Nobel Committee said it gave the award to Ms. Morrison "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality".

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