Tag Archives: Banned Books

Sightings: Why Not Save the Indignation for Something Worthwhile?

“Spring is here, which means that it’s time once again for the American Library Association’s annual Top 10 list of “most frequently challenged books.” These are the books that have drawn the largest number of formal complaints “requesting that materials be removed [from a library] because of content or appropriateness.” Each time the list comes out, enlightened readers hasten to snigger at those benighted members of the booboisie who dare to suggest that “Of Mice and Men” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” both of which have previously appeared on the list, might possibly be thought unsuitable for consumption by youngsters.” (via WSJ.com)

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‘Captain Underpants’ doesn’t sit well with some

“The potty humor of “Captain Underpants” children’s books and the mature exploration of race and family violence by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison in “The Bluest Eye” would seem to have little in common. But among some parents, educators and other members of the general public who worry about what books are stocked at their local libraries, the works fall into the same category — they’re just too offensive and should be restricted or removed from the shelves. The American Library Association published its annual “State of the Libraries” report Sunday, which included its list of works most frequently “challenged” last year at schools and libraries.” (via AP)

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Novel pulled from Ankeny class after parent questions its content

“Classroom copies of a novel about a 9-year-old boy whose father died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were removed last week from an Ankeny school following questions from a parent about the book’s content. Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” contains profanity, sex and descriptions of violence, according to the American Library Association, which tracks challenged, restricted, removed and banned books. Assistant Superintendent Jill Urich said the novel was removed from ninth-grade classrooms at Northview Middle School because the title had not received school board approval for use in the district’s English curriculum.” (via The Des Moines Register)

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Erotic fairytale first book pulled from the New Zealand National Library for being too explicit

“A graphic novel that depicts the sexual encounters of fairytale heroines has made history as the first book pulled from the New Zealand National Library catalogue for being too explicit. The book has never been classified by the censor and the decision of the library to self-censor has angered those who say libraries should be champions of literary freedom. It has now become a cause celebre for fans wanting to have the book returned to the shelves and the library has indicated it may yet put it back.” (via Daily Life)

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Letter Urges Alamogordo Schools to Keep Neil Gaiman Book in Classrooms

“On Friday, October 11, 2013, the news began to spread that Neil Gaiman’s 1996 book Neverwhere had been banned in Alamogordo Public Schools in Arizona. While the book has not yet been banned, it is under challenge in the district and its use was suspended, halfway through the unit. The Kids’ Right to Read Project has written a letter cautioning against censoring the book and supporting the professional judgment of educators in the district.” (via NCAC)

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Controversial book stays in N.C. school library

“A sexually charged book about teen girls and their reactions to an ardent senior boy will remain in the Currituck County High School library. The Currituck County Board of Education decided with a 4-1 vote Monday that “A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl” by Tanya Lee Stone should remain available as it has since 2006, board member Karen Etheridge said. “I’m disappointed,” said Elissa Cooper, the parent who raised the challenge, “but I thank God we still have the right to debate. I feel like there will be good from this.” (via The Virginian-Pilot)

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Alamogordo Public Schools remove Neverwhere from curriculum, shelves

“After learning that her daughter was reading Neverwhere, which contains a brief passage where the central character attempts to intterupt two adulterous lovers on a park bench and discovers that he is invisible, the mother of an Alamogordo High School student went to school administrators to ask that the book be removed from the curriculum.  On hearing of the complaint, Superintendent Dr. George Straface ordered that the book be removed from the curriculum and from the shelves while it undergoes review for age-appropriateness.” (via Censored Books)

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Maine schools, libraries see few attempts to ban books

“If a book features sexual content or homosexuality, profanity or racial slurs, magic or violence, chances are someone has tried to have it removed from a library shelf or school reading list. Every year there are hundreds of challenges to books or other materials by people who want to see them barred from libraries or classrooms — a fact that libraries have highlighted this week during Banned Books Week, the American Library Association’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Many schools and public libraries in the Augusta area have received complaints about certain books, but they rarely have risen to the level of a formal challenge, according to librarians and other officials.” (via Portland Press Herald)

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‘Invisible Man’ may reappear in North Carolina county’s schools

“If a county could blush, Randolph County just might. The school board in this largely rural county, to the embarrassment of many residents, voted last week to ban Ralph Ellison’s iconic novel of African American angst, “Invisible Man.” In a 5-2 vote, the board barred the book from all school libraries in the county after the mother of an 11th-grader complained that the novel was “too much for teenagers.” But confronted by an angry backlash and concerns that the ban had shamed the county, the board backed down and scheduled a special meeting Wednesday in order to reconsider the book’s status.” (via latimes.com)

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Book censors target teen fiction, says American Library Association

“Attempts to ban books are increasingly driven by the desire to protect teenagers from tales of sex, drugs and suicide in young adult fiction, the American Library Association reports.This growing number of attempts to restrict edgy teen fiction was revealed as part of Americas Banned Books Week, from 22 to 28 September.”Young adult is a big trend right now, and a high number of complaints are directed at those books,” said Barbara Stripling, president of the American Library Association, which organises Banned Books Week. “There is a lot of pressure to keep teenagers safe and protected, especially in urban areas, and we are seeing many more complaints about alcohol, smoking, suicide and sexually explicit material.” (via theguardian.com)

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