America’s most hated books Controversial tween novel series written entirely in text message shorthand tops new list
The American Library Association's report includes Hunger Games, Gossip Girl and To Kill a Mockingbird
15:33 GMT, 11 April 2012
Every year the American Library Association releases a list of the ten books most frequently reported as banned or challenged by angry parents, schools and libraries across the country.
And as is often the case, this year's most reviled author, Lauren Myracle, is in trouble for a tween trilogy deemed unsuitable in content, profane and sexually perverse.
The controversial themes – that include sex, drugs and alcohol – are not the only thing to spark outrage from conservative readers across the nation. The books are written entirely in instant message language.
Innocent Tween author who writes in instant message shorthand has topped the list of American's most banned books with her series about high school girls
Ms Myracle's series about three high school friends entitled TTL, L8R G8R and TTFN, are apparently so incendiary they have been banned from a town in Texas where parents are disgusted by the profanity and sexually explicit nature of the book.
While she acknowledges that the abbreviated language creates an initial barrier for adults, when it comes to subject matter, the author only pays attention to the positive feedback she receives from readers themselves.
She told The Daily Beast: 'My
favorite comments come from girls who say, “I feel like you’ve given me a
self-help book because my parents won’t talk about this.”
I was a kid, I read Judy Blume to figure out what a hard-on was and
what to do when you got your period, so when people say to me, “You’re
this generation's Judy Blume,” I am wildly honored by that.'
Cntrvrsy: Lauren Myracle's series tackles themes like sex, drugs and alcohol
She is also reluctant to take responsibility for exposing children to issues that they don't already know about, a common charge among many parents.
'Parents aren’t always realistic,' she
explained. 'One said to me, “I can’t believe you introduced my
13-year-old daughter to thong underwear.” I’m pretty sure she knows
about them already. She probably owns a pair.'
U.S. TOP TEN MOST CHALLENGED BOOKS
1. TYL, L8R G8R, TTFN – Lauren Myracle
2. The Colour of Earth (Series) – Kim Dong Hwa
3. 'The Hunger Games' Trilogy – Suzanne Collins
4. My Mom's Having a Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy – Dori Hillestad Butler
5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie
6. Alice (Series) – Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
7. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
8. What My Mother Doesn't Know – Sonya Sones
9. Gossip Girl (Series) – Cecily Von Ziegesar
10. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
In fact contrary to the accusations flying at her from those who call her 'Satan's handmaiden' and a 'pedophile', Ms Myracle's hope is that girls will read her books and reflect on the bad decisions they might otherwise have made without thinking of the consequences.
'One girl goes to a college party when she’s still in high school. She gets drunk. She gets egged on to take her shirt off. Pictures get taken,' she summarised.
'I don’t write books to teach lessons, but if a girl can read a story like that and think, “Maybe I won’t take off my shirt at a frat party when people have phones there,” my work is done.'
Other books on the list include a graphic novel by Kim Dong Hwa that upset people with its images of nudity, The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and the Gossip Girl series.
Also featured were legendary classics like Aldous Huxley's A Brave New World and seminal novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
As a reaction to the challenges made to literature with provocative content, The American Library Association holds an annual Banned Books Week to celebrate the freedom to read and warn of the dangers of censorship
Lauren Myracle concurs: 'Kids are smart. Knowledge is power. Let them figure things out. Don’t turn into that grownup who they won’t come to.'