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					                     Banned & Challenged Books Info & Links

The difference between a challenge and a banning

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a
person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials.

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. Whether the books feature graphic language, strong violence, or explicit sexual
content, people that challenge materials feel that others should not have access to them.

The main reasons books are challenged and banned

People challenge books and other materials for a variety of reasons; however, all challenges occur because
the book in question is deemed controversial. The four main reasons for challenging and banning books:
Political, Religious, Sexual, Social. Some classic titles include:

Political-1984, The Jungle, The Prince, The Communist Manifesto, Cold Mountain

Religious-Grapes of Wrath, As I Lay Dying, Slaughterhouse Five, Lord of the Rings, The Last Temptation of
Christ

Social-To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Of Mice & Men, Gone With the Wind, One Flew Over the
Cuckoo’s Nest, In Cold Blood, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Sexual-The Color Purple, Brave New World, Their Eyes Were Watching God, A Separate Peace, The Bell Jar,
The Bluest Eye, Lolita

The most frequently challenged authors of 2009

Lauren Myracle, Alex Sanchez, P.C. Cast, Robert Cormier, Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, Stephen
Chbosky, Chris Crutcher, Ellen Hopkins, Richelle Mead, John Steinbeck

The 10 most challenged books of 2009 reflect a range of themes, and are:
1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: drugs, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
2. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: homosexuality
3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: anti-family, drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, suicide,
unsuited to age group
4. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group
5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
6. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
7. My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age
group, violence
8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
9. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
10. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Reasons: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
                                                     Quick Facts:

Background Information from 2001 to 2009

Over the past nine years, American libraries were faced with 4,312 challenges.

    •   1,413 challenges due to “sexually explicit” material;
    •   1,125 challenges due to “offensive language”;
    •   897challenges due to material deemed “unsuited to age group”;
    •   514 challenges due to “violence”
    •   344 challenges due to “homosexuality”; and

Further, 109 materials were challenged because they were “anti-family,” and an additional 269 were challenged because
of their “religious viewpoints.”

1,502 of these challenges (approximately 34%) were in classrooms; 33% were in school libraries; 23% (or 1,032) took
place in public libraries. There were 100 challenges to college classes; and only 29 to academic libraries. The majority of
challenges were initiated by parents (almost exactly 48%), while patrons and administrators followed behind (10% each).

Some helpful webpages:

http://tinyurl.com/n6w3et (banned/challenged Classic novels)
http://tinyurl.com/dc8men (all links on this page go to Wikipedia, which is blocked at school)
http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/banned-books.html
http://classiclit.about.com/od/bannedliteratur1/Banned_Books_Censorship.htm
http://www.georgesuttle.com/censorship/bookbanning.shtml
http://www.resourceshelf.com/2009/09/21/begins-later-this-week-resources-for-banned-books-week-starts-
saturday-september-26-2009/
For Author Chris Crutcher: http://www.chriscrutcher.com/censorship.html

				
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