Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I looked at my school independent reading cart and recognized two of the books on this list below: "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings" Are any of these books in your schools? Have they been challenged?

The ALA counted a total of 420 challenges last year. These include any formal, written statement to a school or library asking for the removal of a book. Here are the top 10, according to the ALA, for 2007:

1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language

4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint

5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
Reasons: Racism

6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language

7) "TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8) "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit

9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10) "The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

"Frequently Challenged Books," American Library Association, July 29, 2008. http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/bannedbooksweek/challengedbanned/frequentlychallengedbooks.cfm
(Accessed September 30, 2008)


Kristen said...

I'd just like to share something I discovered on the AILA website (American Indian Library Association). It's a link to Oyate's "children's books to avoid". Oyate is a native American organization dedicated to the accurate portrayal of Indian lives and histories. http://oyate.org/books-to-avoid/index.html gives a list of books Oyate encourages native Americans to avoid. This list raised my eyebrows a few times...especially when they tackled Little House on the Prairie! It makes you think...

J. Urick said...

Thanks Kristen! I'd like to do a report for my Exit Paper on either gender studies or cross-cultural studies in library information situations. This is an interesting look at banned books for a different point of view!