Tuesday, September 27, 2005


This is the ALA's list of 100 most challenged books in libraries throughout America, be they school libraries or public ones. What is weird about the list is how many books are children's books that I simply just have never heard of in my life — and how few books there are of real quality.

What's also bizarre about the list is how many books by specific authors are targeted, as if one book sets off some parents and they decide to go and yank the other books by the same author. So Stephen King, Judy Blume, and Robert Cormier get hit, but only for their most popular books by the look of it. So, The Chocolate War, We All Fall Down, and Fade all get pinned, but not Beyond the Chocolate War or I Am the Cheese, which I will assume feature many of the same objectionable aspects.

And Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth? Who is reading this book that needs protection from it? Where's Waldo? Where's your brains?

Finally, A Wrinkle in Time? I'm sorry, but let's make a vast and oversimplified generalization and say that most "challengers" of these books are uptight religious folks. What can they possibly have against a writer who is so profoundly Christian as L'Engle? That she uses fantasy as allegory?

Try as I might, I can't quite make sense of this list.

Which just goes to show you what secular humanism gets you these days, I guess. Rational powers of thought are simply no match for absurd witch-hunting craziness.

Your bemused speculation always appreciated below.

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