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Banned Books: Banned Books Week
Celebrate your freedom to read during Banned Books Week and throughout the year!
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda
Despite winning multiple awards and being the most searched-for book on Goodreads during its debut year, this YA novel was challenged and banned in school libraries and curriculums because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug use, profanity, and offensive language.
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references and use of a derogatory term.
Consistently challenged since its publication in 2007 for acknowledging issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality, this National Book Award winner was challenged in school curriculums because of profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.
Challenged at the Dallas, TX Independent School District high school libraries (1974). Challenged at the Sully Buttes, SD High School (1981). Challenged at the Owen, NC High School (1981) because the book is "demoralizing inasmuch as it implies that man is little more than an animal." Challenged at the Marana, AZ High School (1983) as an inappropriate reading assignment. Challenged at the Olney, TX Independent School District (1984) because of "excessive violence and bad language." Challenged in the Waterloo, IA schools (1992) because of profanity, lurid passages about sex, and statements defamatory to minorities, God, women and the disabled.
Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience
Challenged in Eden Valley, MN (1977) and temporarily banned due to words "damn" and "whore lady" used in the novel. Challenged in the Kansas City, MO junior high schools (1985). Challenged at the Park Hill, MO Junior High School (1985) because the novel "contains profanity and racial slurs." Retained on a supplemental eighth grade reading list in the Casa Grande, AZ Elementary School District (1985), despite the protests by black parents and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who charged the book was unfit for junior high use.
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now”
The Grapes of Wrath has been: Burned by the East St. Louis, IL Public Library (1939) and barred from the Buffalo, NY Public Library (1939) on the grounds that "vulgar words" were used. Banned in Kansas City, MO (1939). Banned in Kanawha, IA High School classes (1980). Challenged in Vernon Verona Sherill, NY School District (1980). Challenged in the Greenville, SC schools (1991) because the book uses the name of God and Jesus in a "vain and profane manner along with inappropriate sexual references." Challenged in the Union City, TN High School classes (1993).
Challenged as appropriate reading for Oakland, CA High School honors class (1984) due to the work's "sexual and social explicitness" and its "troubling ideas about race relations, man's relationship to God, African history, and human sexuality." After nine months of haggling and delays, a divided Oakland Board of Education gave formal approval for the book's use. Rejected for purchase by the Hayward, CA school's trustee (1985) because of "rough language" and "explicit sex scenes." Removed from the open shelves of the Newport News, VA school library (1986) because of its "profanity and sexual references" and placed in a special section accessible only to students over the age of 18 or who have written permission from a parent. Challenged at the public libraries of Saginaw, MI (1989) because it was “too sexually graphic for a 12-year-old.”
Thanks to the American Library Association for the information on slides.
"Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them."