They Tried To Ban That Book? — Amazing

We may be a nation based on free speech, but that doesn’t stop people from objecting to certain books and attempting to get them banned–so you and your children can’t read them.
Each year the American Library Association releases a list of the top 10 books that generated the most controversy, naming them the most “challenged” books in public schools and libraries.
(from the article with the most recent list).

We see this list every year.  This year’s list includes some titles that I don’t know, and a couple that I do know.  (Brave New World is on the list).

But the biggest surprise to me was the Barbara Ehrenreich book, Nickel and Dimed:  On Not Getting By in America.  I have presented my synopsis of this modern classic a few times.

Barbara Ehrenreich, a woman with a Ph.D in cellular biology from Rockefeller University, went deep undercover, working as a server in a restaurant, a house cleaner in a motel; she worked at Walmart.  In the book, she recounts these experiences, with special emphasis on the financial challenges of living on the wages paid in such jobs. Here’s a quote from the book:

Something is wrong, very wrong, when a single person in good health, a person who in addition possesses a working car, can barely support herself by the sweat of her brow.  You don’t need a degree in economics to see that wages are too low and rents too high.

Why would people object to this book?  Maybe they feel too ashamed to know what the people who work all around us do for such a low return for their efforts…

When I was a boy, I remember my mother telling me that in the Soviet Union, people could go to jail for what they write.  She told me that in this country, you can write what you want – and speak your mind.  I suspect that was deeply ingrained in me.  And I’m glad it was.

Anyway, I’m not much of a fan of attempts to ban books.  If you disagree with a book, don’t read it – or, better yet, write a book to make your case.

Here’s the list, with the reasons they were challenged:

The top 10 most 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 The top 10 most 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, violenceReasons: Offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

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