Sunday, September 25, 2016

Banned Books Week!




Have you ever heard of Banned Books Week? If not, it's okay. A lot of people haven't. I didn't realize how many people were unaware that books have been challenged and banned across the nation for years until this week when my coworker and I put up a display where the books had "Banned" wrapped around the covers.


Several people have already come up with questions. At least one woman was livid that we would dare ban books. Of course, we weren't the ones banning them, and once the reference librarian at the desk explained this to her, she was angry for a whole different reason. In order to head off some of the anger and questions, I created a short document explaining Banned Books Week and why many of the books have been banned over the years to put on the display. Most of the info comes from the American Library Association (ALA) website. Here's what it says:

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles lists of challenged books. “Challenges” are documented requests to remove materials from schools or libraries. Removal would restrict access to this information by other library users. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read. 





Over the past fifteen years more than 7,000 challenges have been reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom. This list is a compilation of the top ten most challenged books from 2001-2015, including the many different reasons. They all link to Goodreads. 


Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling
Reasons: anti-family, occult/Satanism, religious viewpoint, violence

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck 
Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group, violence

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier 
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence, religious viewpoint, nudity

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou 
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, homosexuality

Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene
Reasons: offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group, sexual content, sexually explicit

Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, offensive language, nudity, religious viewpoint

Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit

Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
Reason: drugs, offensive language, racism, sexual content, violence

Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Taming the Star Runner, by S.E. Hinton
Reason: offensive language

Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence, sexually explicit,
anti-family content

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Reason: offensive language, racism

Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
Reasons: occult/Satanism, offensive language, violence

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
Reason: offensive language

Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
Reasons: unsuited to age group, violence

Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, by Michael Bellesiles
Reason: inaccuracy, political viewpoint

It's Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Reason: homosexuality, nudity, sexual content, sex education, abortion, unsuited to age group, sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, alleges child pornography

We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
Reason: offensive language, sexual content

King & King, by Linda de Haan
Reason: homosexuality

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, drugs, nudity, suicide, anti-family, religious viewpoint, drugs/alcohol/smoking

What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group, sexually explicit, sexism, nudity

In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
Reasons: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit

Forever, by Judy Blume
Reasons: offensive language, sexual content

Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
Reasons: racism, offensive language

Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
Reason: sexual content

Crazy Lady!, by Jane Leslie Conly
Reasons: anti-family, homosexuality, and unsuited to age group, anti-ethnic, religious viewpoint, sexism, political viewpoint, promotes homosexual agenda

Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group, drugs/alcohol

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: anti-family, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group, violence, contains controversial issues

Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz Reasons: insensitivity, occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, and violence, religious viewpoint

Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
Reasons: homosexuality and offensive language
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence, unsuited to age group

Olive's Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit
Reason: religious viewpoint, political viewpoint, and violence

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker 
Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group, drugs, nudity, religious viewpoint
Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence

Uncle Bobby's Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini 
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, violence

Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group
Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group

Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer 
Reasons: religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult 
Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence, religious viewpoint, drugs/alcohol/smoking, anti-family, cultural insensitivity, gambling, depictions of bullying

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, and sexually explicit, nudity, religious viewpoint

Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit

The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence, anti-ethnic, anti-family, insensitivity, offensive language, occult/satanic, religious viewpoint

Lush, by Natasha Friend
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political view, and religious viewpoint

Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: homosexuality and sexually explicit

The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

My Mom's Having A Baby! , by Dori Hillestad Butler
Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group

Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, nudity, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, poorly written, concerns teens will want to try it

Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, drugs/alcohol/smoking

The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit

I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).

The Holy Bible
Reasons: Religious viewpoint

Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
Reasons: Violence and other graphic images

Habibi, by Craig Thompson
Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.

Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).




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