Well being the #1 film in America doesn’t mean the book it’s based on is faced with any less controversy. In fact, it brings much more attention to The Hunger Games and has actually increased the reasons why some parents feel it doesn’t belong in schools.
The American Library Association released this year’s list of “Most Challenged Books” and The Hunger Games trilogy was heavily featured.
For the second year in a row, Suzanne Collins’ work was among the most “challenged” books, as reported Sunday by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. The association defines a challenge as “a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.”
In last year’s list, when just the title book of the trilogy was in the top 10, complaints included “sexually explicit” and “unsuited to age group and violence.” Collins herself acknowledged her dystopian stories were not for everyone, telling The Associated Press at the time that she had heard “people were concerned about the level of violence in the books. That’s not unreasonable. They are violent. It’s a war trilogy.”
For the new study, which also included “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay,” the objections were more varied, and harsher, including “Anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence.”
…Collins declined comment through spokeswoman Tracy van Straaten of publisher Scholastic Inc. Van Straaten said Scholastic also would have no comment.
Collins’ million-selling novels ranked No. 3 on the association’s list, rising from No. 5 last year.
We are still trying to figure out where The Hunger Games is sexually explicit, but these new challenges have us even more puzzled. Yes this is a war story, so I could understand if someone stated the violence as an issue, but listing it as “occult/satanic violence”? Are we talking about President Snow and the mutts here? The Careers attitudes toward the Games? Anti-ethnic? The book contains many characters who are ambiguous of race yes, but there are also many that are more distinctly pointed out. And where in the book is there “offensive language” and how can a book based on Katniss stepping up for her sister being even construed as remotely “anti-family” and showing “insensitivity?”
We could go on all day…
Of course as the popularity of the series grows, there will be more and more challenges as the exposure to the book is increased. Remember that some of these challenges will also be raised on hearsay rather than from those who have actually read the books themselves, so perhaps that’s why many of these complaints are not quite making sense to us.
Either way, the question of whether or not The Hunger Games trilogy belongs on school shelves will continue to be debated and we want to know your thoughts. As fans of the series, our thoughts may be highly skewed one way, but do you feel the books belong on library and classroom shelves? What are your thoughts on teachers actually doing lessons based on the book? And finally what do you think about the challenges brought up to the ALA? Do you think they are as way off base as we do or do you see where any of the points may be coming from? Let us know your feelings in the comments.
Source WSJread more