Almost exactly a year ago a mother of a seventh-grade student in New Hampshire in the US, called for The Hunger Games to be banned from her daughter’s middle school. She complained that the book gave her daughter consistent nightmares. She also denounced the book for its alleged lack of morality and suggested its violent subject matter lead to school violence.
While her move to have The Hunger Games removed from her local school wasn’t successful, it seems that mother was not alone.
Last year, in the United States, there were apparently 348 attempts to have books banned or removed from school curriculums or libraries. The Huffington Post has listed the top 10 challenged books of 2010 and the reasons they made the list.
As you can see, The Hunger Games was challenged for being unsuited to the age group, sexually explicit and too violent.
So what do you think? While I understand concerns about age appropriateness or violence, I really don’t understand the sexually explicit complaint. The Hunger Games, on the surface, sounds like a disturbingly violent and grim premise for a story, but as those of us that have read and loved and processed the series can tell you, it’s actually anti-violence and anti-war and Katniss has much bigger concerns than which boy she’s going to be with.
As Molly Raphael, the President of the American Library Association says : “whether in print or digital format, books are a precious resource, providing us with information, entertainment, opinions, ideas, and a window on lives far different from our own.”
You can read her piece on her concerns about banning books at Huffington Post