If I had to choose a favorite from the American Library Association challenged list it would be “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. My second pick is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Runner ups are: “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, “The Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, “As I Lay Dying” by William Faulkner, “The Hunger Games,” by Suzanne Collins, and “The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini.
“The Great Gatsby” was challenged at the BaptistCollege in Charleston, South Carolina in 1987 because of “language and sexual references in the book.”
“To Kill a Mockingbird” has been challenged countless times. For example, in 1981, the WarrenInd.Township schools challenged “Mockingbird” because they said the book does “psychological damage to the positive integration process.”
I’ve always been a voracious reader and if you looked back on what I was reading and when, much of it would be considered controversial. I read plenty of “safe” books too like the “Babysitter Club” series and the “Anne of Green Gables” series. However, in my “formative” years I was obsessed with authors such as V.C. Andrews, R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Sylvia Plath, F.Scott Fitzgerald, etc.
I have a wonderful mother and step-father who don’t read books. They read newspapers and magazines but not books. In fact, my younger brother doesn’t either. My husband buys books but rarely opens them. Its bizarre being surrounded by people that don’t read considering it’s such an integral part of my life.
Recently I phoned my parents to ask them if they knew everything that I was reading, (I did tell them about some of them) would they have tried to deter me. My step-father said, “probably not.” My mom agrees with him. And I’m glad for that.