{Bookworm} Banned Books Week & some PR: Who was Ostracized the most?

Image by Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved 2009.

Continuing with the Little Pink Book’s coverage of Banned Books Week I wanted to share with you some information from the American Library Association  and a little PR-insight as well.

First things first, the Top 10 most frequently challenged books of 2008 were (I read the ones in bold, loved the ones in pink):-

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  2. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
  3. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  4. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence
  5. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence
  6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
  7. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  8. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
    Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group
  9. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  10. Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
    Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group

According to ALA:-

  • 1,225 challenges due to “sexually explicit” material
  • 1,008 challenges due to “offensive language”
  • 720 challenges due to material deemed “unsuited to age group”
  • 458 challenges due to “violence”
  • 269 challenges due to “homosexuality”
  • 103 challenges due to “anti-family”
  • 233 challenges due to “religious viewpoints”

PR (more like marketing) insight for those book banning folks:-

If I wanted people to really hate something and agree with me — I wouldn’t tempt them. I would give it to them with a fact sheet that has my ‘agenda’ on it.

It’s like Eve and the apple.

Just saying…

The temptation is there. Unless you are dealing with a bunch of mindless sheep…well, simply saying ‘no’ is not going to cut it. Heck, dare I even mention it, that would be strategic!

So why don’t these “haters” just do that? Laziness.

No Borg thinking there…it’s pure emotion.

Plain and simple — it’s easier to say you don’t like something, than to give an actual reason. And nothing in this world is worth hating without a viable reason.

2 + 2 = 4. That will NEVER change.

Oh well, such is life…

Here’s a Map via Google of banning book hot spots across the United States:

View Book Bans and Challenges, 2007-2009 in a larger map

Any thoughts on books that could be up for this year? 2009?

I’m thinking Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” — possibly a Stephenie Meyer book, perhaps “Breaking Dawn,” and the “Gossip Girl” series could make the list again because of the popularity of the television show. The same could be said for older books like “The Vampire Diaries” by LJ Smith. Older, yes. Making a come back, most certainly.


Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima.

Copyright © 2009 SashaH. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.