Slipstream #7: Banned Genre Books

This week on Slipstream: The Pulp Culture Vlog, we celebrate Banned Books Week. Specifically, we look at the five most challenged horror, sci-fi, and fantasy books and books series according to the American Library Association's wonderful challenged book resources. The list was derived, specifically, from the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009 list. The rankings very well may have shuffled a bit since 2009. The Harry Potter series is not appearing as frequently and Captain Underpants actually topped the list for 2012. Watch the video, then click through for all the behind the scenes gossip.

  • I wasn't joking about the Goosebumps ban/unban phenomenon in the 90s. My local library would have the entire series on the shelf the one week, then admonish me the next week for asking about books they weren't allowed to stock. It's why my parents just started taking me out to buy the new Goosebumps and Fear Street books every couple weeks instead of relying on the library.
  • The biggest revelation to me in researching this video was the idea that a book could be banned for being "anti-family." Seriously? I'm sure these parents aren't objecting to The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, and Othello being taught in classes. But no. It's Harry Potter that will destroy the foundation of American society.
  • I knew about challenges to all of these series except for Alvin Schwartz' Scary Story...books. I used to see those big books in the gift/bargain section all the time but had no idea they were well-known enough to be challenged.
  • If you want to see why books were banned or challenged from 1990-2009 by who and where, check out these ALA graphs. Sexually explicit barely narrowed out obscenity and inappropriate for age group in challenges mostly led by parents at schools and libraries.

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