ALA, American Library Associations list of the top 100 novels of the 20th century. It's an interesting list and if you follow the link above, it also offers the reasoning's behind why a book has been banned or challenged.
Of this list of twenty books, all of the bolded ones have somewhere along the line been banned or challenged. One, two, three...SEVENTEEN!
That's right, seventeen of the top twenty best books in the 20th century have been banned or challenged.
When I look at this list and think back to when I read many of these books, I wonder at the reasoning's behind the ban/challenge. Many of the complaints stem from the use of "inappropriate language." See, so many of these books were written about how life is/was/or will be. How can we say the language is "inappropriate" if that was how it was at the time? Plus, how can you teach someone that the words, or the meaning behind the words, are wrong if they never hear or see them being used?
I'm a great believer in life's lessons and learn as you go, because what better way to know for me what's wrong and what's right, but really, if you take all of the "naughty" words away and make them taboo, our youth will not know the why of not using them. Hiding in the dark and telling your child to never, never utter these words, EVER!!! Doesn't work. I guarantee that they will step outside and say the word, just because you told them not to.
Besides, I want my child to know and choose not to use those words, because she knows how derogatory and degrading they are and I want her to know how to treat everyone as an equal. So if there is a book out there that gives a realistic shot of what life was like for someone not like her, then I want her to take a literary walk in those shoes and not bury her head in the sand.
~Serena climbs down from her soap box with a wink and a ((hug)) for her readers.~
Read a book today and take a walk in someone else's shoes!
Top 20 Novels of the 20th Century
1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
10. The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner
11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
13. Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White
14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway