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A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

October 2

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I’m a Banned Book Reading Heathen and Proud of It

by Ann-Katrina

I noticed a trend with the banned books on the list: many were said to be sexually explicit, use offensive language, and have occult themes. People secure in their sexuality, who may use coarse language, and have a keen interest in things of an occult nature are generally labeled heathens, hence the title.

Granted, I really don’t think of myself as a heathen; I’d prefer to be labeled as someone with an open mind who strives to be well-read and who thanks the wonderful teachers who introduced her to such wonderful and inspiring reading material in the first place.

But, moving right along, here’s my contribution to the Banned Books Week meme. Funny enough, I was actually doing a bit of research about the banned books list earlier today (separately from BBW) and was tempted to write a blog entry about it. Now that I’ve been tagged, I have a legit reason. Thank you Brie.


  1. Copy this list.
  2. Highlight the ones you’ve read (or remember reading) in red.
  3. Tag five people to play.

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000

  1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
  2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling (in progress)
  8. Forever by Judy Blume
  9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
  12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
  16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine (along with his Fear Street, Cheerleaders, and Babysitters series)
  17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
  18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  19. Sex by Madonna
  20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
  21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
  27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
  28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
  29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
  30. The Goats by Brock Cole
  31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
  32. Blubber by Judy Blume
  33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
  34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
  35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
  36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
  37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
  41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
  46. Deenie by Judy Blume
  47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (read it in grade school and wept. seriously. the story still haunts me.)
  48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
  49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
  50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
  51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein (he became one of my favorite poets after discovering him in 6th grade.)
  52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
  54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
  55. Cujo by Stephen King
  56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
  58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
  60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
  62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
  64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
  65. Fade by Robert Cormier
  66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
  67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
  68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
  69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  71. Native Son by Richard Wright
  72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
  73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
  74. Jack by A.M. Homes
  75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
  76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
  77. Carrie by Stephen King
  78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
  79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
  81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
  82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
  83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
  87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
  88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
  89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
  90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
  91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
  93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
  94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
  95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
  98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
  100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

There you all have it. I’ve read 24 titles out of 100. My new goal is to read at least 95 of them (there are about 5 titles which simply don’t appeal to me in any sense of the word). Of course, it may take me a year. Now I just need to make a personal list in order of preference to start reading.

Time for Tag

Being a relative newcomer to the book-blogosphere, I really have no idea whom to tag. So, I’m going to break the rules a bit (gasp!) and use this as an opportunity to discover some new blogs.

If you feel so moved and haven’t already participated in the Banned Book Week meme, consider yourself tagged. Write up your blog entry and leave a comment with the link. (Even if you already have participated in the meme, feel free to comment with a link.) :)

Comments on I’m a Banned Book Reading Heathen and Proud of It

  1. # Brie wrote on October 2, 2008 at 6:49 pm:

    Flowers for Algernon was so sad. I read the book then saw the movie. The movie was a good adaptation of the book, I think.

    Thanks for participating, Ann!

  2. # Jackie wrote on October 2, 2008 at 7:11 pm:

    First off, loved the theme!

    You know, other book I thought was weird is the Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz. They’re scary stories! They’re supposed to scare little kids. It’s horror for kids. Unless I’m thinking of a different series, these were all over my school library growing up.

  3. # Ann-Kat wrote on October 3, 2008 at 12:55 am:

    Brie: I’d love to re-read Flowers for Algernon, but I keep avoiding it because I know I’ll cry all over again. Oddly, it’s still one of my favorites despite having read it a very long time ago.

    Jackie: You’re absolutely right. They are scary stories meant especially for kids.

    As a kid, they were frightening, but, at the same time, exciting to read. In fact, I still have my copies from childhood and reading them now (as an adult), they don’t seem nearly as frightening as I remember them. :D

  4. # Jace wrote on October 4, 2008 at 2:19 am:

    Hey, this is a great site! :-D Now I know why you’re being stalked by Brie. :-D In the words of the Terminator … I’ll be back. ;-)

  5. # Jace wrote on October 4, 2008 at 2:21 am:

    Sorry … amendment!

    Now I know WHY (not “what”) you’re being stalked by Brie!

  6. # Ann-Kat wrote on October 4, 2008 at 2:09 pm:

    Thanks Jace! Glad to hear you’ll be back. I’ve been secretly stalking your blog a bit too…ever since I found my way there by way of the bookmark entry from Brie’s.

    Oh, and I went ahead and corrected your comment for you. :D

  7. # Jace wrote on October 4, 2008 at 3:30 pm:

    That’s great … you’ve been to my blog too! :-D We can officially stalk each other now! :-D

  8. # Brie wrote on October 5, 2008 at 4:49 pm:

    I awarded you, Ann. Check out my site for the details. ;)

  9. # Ann-Kat wrote on October 5, 2008 at 5:49 pm:

    Sweet! Thanks, Brie.

  10. # Emily wrote on October 7, 2008 at 8:14 pm:

    Darling theme! I see the love. I’m not a bookworm and only ended up here because I’m somehow following her on Twitter! (A friend of a friend or something.) I appreciate the fun sketchy elements and envy those with faith in stylesheets.

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