Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Challenging Year in Review 2006

Bookslut has an article on titles from 2006 which have been challenged. Read the article by Chris Zammarelli for full details of what happened with these challenges.

The Well by Mildred Taylor
"...removed from an elementary school reading list for Black History Month in Absecon, NJ because of a racial epithet used in the book...."

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The mother of a high school freshman in Annapolis, MD asked that it be banned because of its mature themes.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The superintendent of the Judson School District Board, San Antonio, TX ordered the book taken out of the advanced English curriculum when a parent complained it contained sexual and anti-Christian content.

Vamos a Cuba by Alta Schreier
Cuban exiles requested Miami-Dade School Board, FL ban this children's book because it portrayed an unrealistic portrait of life in Cuba. School board member Frank Balanos had the book pulled from classroom shelves, although the book stayed in the library.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Laura Mallory spent much of 2006 trying to get Harry Potter banned from Gwinnett (GA) County Public Schools because of its theme of witchcraft.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Parents of students at Apalachee High School in GA had an edition of Lord of the Flies removed because it contained an essay by E.L. Epstein that commented on the rape-like nature of the pig-slaying scene.

Beloved by Toni Morrison and eight other titles
Board member Leslie Pinney in Arlington Heights, IL called for such titles as Toni Morrison's Beloved and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five to be banned because of their obscene content.

Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love by Maryrose Wood and nine other titles
The Hernando County (FL) County School Board removed 10 titles from the library's book order, including Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love by Maryrose Wood and The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. School board member Sandra Nicholson requested the titles removed because they contained offensive language.

The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
Fleet Belle of the Mobile County (AL) school board requested The Learning Tree be removed from LeFlore High School summer reading list because of its offensive language and sexual content.

The Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein and Felice Picano
The Nampa (ID) Public Library Board voted to retain The Joy of Gay Sex, but ordered the book and 60 other books about sex be placed on the top shelves on the library.

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Some people in Shiloh, IL and Charlotte, NC objected to this children's book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin because, well, it's about two male penguins raising a baby penguin. It's based on the true story of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape? by Peter Hedges
The superintendent of Carroll (IA) Schools pulled Peter Hedges's What's Eating Gilbert Grape? from a class about books made into movies because a parent complained about an oral sex scene in the book.

Take the Banned Book Challenge. Watch for details to be posted here next week.
Freedom to Read Poster 1985

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