I just discovered Chase’s Calendar of Events. Today is R.E.A.D. in America Day and for the next week it is Banned Books Week (Sept 25-Oct 2). See www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/bannedbooksweek/index.cfm
Today is also National Book Festival, National Mall, Washington, DC. See www.loc.gov/bookfest/
And it is Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner’s birthday (1897-1962).
Here are 10 books that have been banned and challenged all throughout the United States.
- The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger—Ever since it was first published, The Catcher in the Rye has been targeted by censors all across the country. Back in 1960, a teacher was fired for assigning this book to her class. In 1963, parents in Ohio protested the book for being obscene. This continued for many years, and the book is still challenged to this day. Just last year, it was challenged in the Big Sky High School in Montana.
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee—To Kill a Mockingbird has been challenged and banned in many schools across the country for containing profanity, racial slurs, rape, and other “trashy” behavior.
- Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck—Everyone from the KKK to a range of high schools has challenged this classic. The book contains racial slurs, profanity, and depressing themes.
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain—Racial slurs are the biggest reason Huck Finn has been banned and taken out of numerous classrooms across the country. Even in schools where it hasn’t been officially banned, there are teachers who remove it from their classrooms just to prevent any controversy.
- The Harry Potter series, JK Rowling—According to the American Library Association, the Harry Potter series ranks as the most challenged books from the past decade. Christian parents all across the US want Harry Potter banned for its witchcraft themes.
- Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut—Not only has Slaughterhouse Five been challenged, banned, and removed from required reading in dozens of cities across the country, the book was actually burned in Drake, North Dakota in 1973.
- The Color Purple, Alice Walker—Why is The Color Purple constantly challenged? Let’s count the reasons: troubling race relations, human sexuality themes, questions about man’s relationship with God, inappropriate language, violence, drug abuse, and countless other reasons.
- Beloved, Toni Morrison—Charges for Beloved range from it being to violent to it depicting inappropriate topics of bestiality, sex, and racism. It was most recently pulled from an AP English class at Eastern High School in Louisville, Kentucky after parents complained about its content.
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou—Coming in at #6 on the most challenged books of the last decade, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings has been a target of censors for the past 40 years. The book’s graphic depiction of racism and rape ensure it will always be challenged.
- Ulysses, James Joyce—Not only was Ulysses banned from the United States in 1918, it was also banned in Canada, England, and Ireland. Most recently, Ulysses made headlines again after a web comic version of it was temporarily rejected by Apple from its App store.
What is your favorite Banned book?