Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey have made the list for the most challenged books from libraries in 2013. However, neither take the top spot. Surprisingly a number of children’s books have made the top of the list.
It may not be surprising to hear that the two already named have made the list. Fifty Shades of Grey raised eyebrows as soon as it was released, and was dubbed “mommy porn,” while Hunger Games and its sequels are set in a dark dystopian future and is full of violence and starving children.
However, the Captain Underpants series tops the list yet again. It topped the list in 2012. Parents believe the humor and content is not suitable for the age range. Of course, this is just a small minority of parents, and there are plenty out there who believe it is perfect for young children. Some parents even enjoy reading it with their children at bed time.
It seems a little ridiculous to complain about books available in libraries around the country, as long as they are placed in the correct sections. Nobody would want Fifty Shades of Grey placed in the children’s section. As the Office for Intellectual Freedom director Barbara Jones points out, this is not going to solve problems that the parents or educators are worried about.
Children will still get their hands on the books, and the issues will still be out there. Surely it is better for children to read about them in books aimed that their ages, and allow parents and educators to explain situations. Most of the books that have made the most challenged list, like Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey focus on things that are happening today.
The number of complaints about books was low in 2013 compared to recent years, and definitely compared to the 1980s and 1990s, according to Jones. It definitely seems like adults are finally getting the idea that their children need to learn about the situations somewhere. If not from books, they will learn about it from the news or from other children in the classroom and people on the streets. It is arguably better in an environment where the issues can be fully explained.
Jones states that most people will take one or two lines from books and focus just on them. They forget about the rest of the novels and books, and take the lines out of context. It makes the lines seem much worse than they really are, and paints the books in negative lights. It is up to those receiving the complaints to determine whether the complaints are justified or not.
Some surprising books have been included in the top 10 list over recent years. Twilight and Harry Potter are just two others. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was one of the first books to be complained about due to racism accusations. Many books are actually complained about due to the attitudes and actions the book is actually criticizing. This seems to be the case with Hunger Games although not so much with Fifty Shades of Grey, yet both have made the it into the top 10 of the most challenged books list for 2013.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham