The Big Read Blog (Archive)

The Big Read by the Numbers---Banned Books edition

Can you spot the "banned" book? ("Art Isn't Easy" by Dawn Enrico via Flickr Creative Commons)

As it's Banned Books Week, here's a mash-up of the Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century (as compiled by the Radcliffe Publishing Course) and stats from the American Library Association on Big Read titles (and authors) that have made the association's annual list of banned/challenged books since 1990.

23: Number of novels by Big Read authors  on Top 100 list

8: Number  of Big Read novels on Top 100 list

6: Number of Big Read novels on Top 100 that have also been the object of bans or challenges

5: Number of times novels by Ernest Hemingway appear on the Top 100 list

3: Number of Top 100 novels by Ernest Hemingway  that have been the object of bans or challenges

3: Number of Big Read novels that appear on the America Library Association's list of  Most Challenged Books 1990-1999

2: Number of big Read novels that have been challenged in the last year*

*Despite their widely acknowledged status as literary classics, both Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima still have to fight to keep their place on school library shelves. On the other hand, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, a novel which itself raises questions around censorship and was once considered quite controversial, hasn't been challenged (as far as I can tell) in at least two decades.


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