WIUM Tristates Public Radio

WIU Marks Banned Books Week

Sep 24, 2014

Western Illinois University held its seventh annual 'Banned and Determined' event in conjunction with the national observance of Banned Books Week.

This year's WIU event focused on graphic novels that are challenged for reasons such as having adult content in books designed for a younger age group.

Western Illinois University holds an event every year to mark Banned Books Week.
Credit www.wiu.edu

Rebekah Buchanan of the WIU  Department of English said graphic novels are beneficial for a number of reasons.

"One of them is a way to sort of engage students in reading, and to help them into that world of reading. I also think it is a way to really challenge how we read and how we think about things," Buchanan said.

Buchanan said graphic novels can also help people engage in  difficult conversations, especially ones about violence or sexuality.

The ALA reports hundreds of books are challenged in the United States every year, and some of those are banned. The group said the Office for Intellectual Freedom found the following books were the 10 most challenged in 2013:

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence