Oct 02

[ARCHIVED] Banned Books Week

The original item was published from October 2, 2015 4:12 PM to November 30, 2016 3:18 PM

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Every year, books in schools and libraries across the country are challenged by groups or Cover - Ulysses.pngCover - Most Dangerous Book.jpgindividuals.  From the famous 1933 trial United States v. One Book Called Ulysses to the present day, a range of groups – from parents to political organizations – have attempted to censor various publications. Since 1982, more than 11,300 books have been challenged, according to the American Library Association. In 2014 alone, there were over 300 reported challenges to books across America.

Curious about which books have been on the chopping block? Take a look.

Last year, two parents in Waukesha attempted to have 3 books removed from local schools. All three of those books withstood the challenges levied at them. They were:

Cover - Kite Runner.jpgKhaled Hosseini's New York Times best seller, The Kite Runner
Challenged for: extreme violence
The Kite Runner follows two boys and their friendship – one is the son of a wealthy merchant, the other the son of a family servant – in the last years of the Afghan monarchy, during the Soviet invasion and through the present day. The story addresses bravery and violence, father-son relationships, the conflict between tradition and change, and survivor's guilt.

Also challenged were John Green's Printz Award-winning Looking for Alaska and Chris Crutcher's Chinese Handcuffs, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

Cover - Slaughterhouse-Five.jpgFrequently, organizations challenge books already in schools, but in 1982, students in Island Trees, NY banded together to demand that previously removed books be returned to the school library shelves. The students won their case on First Amendment grounds and books including Slaughterhouse-Five and Go Ask Alice were allowed back into the school.

Even classics are challenged. The Great Gatsbyoccupies a place of dubious honor as the most frequently challenged classic novel; To Kill a Mockingbird is #4 on the classics list (for profanity and racism) while 1984 sits at #9 (for, ironically, being "pro-communist”).

Most recently targeted books include Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir Persepolis. A full list of 2014’s most challenged books is available online from the American Library Association.

Ulysses cover from: http://freakinsweetbookcovers.tumblr.com/post/68008547538/ulysses-james-joyce
Banned Books banner from American Library Association
All other images courtesy of Easicat