Friday, September 27, 2013

Banned Books Week Day Six

Today we continue our Banned Books Week coverage. Banned Books Week is a time to highlight the number of books that people try to remove from the shelves of classrooms and school and public libraries, and to celebrate how often these efforts fail. All week we'll be looking at what books people think you shouldn't be reading.

Today's books are just a few of the ones that were challenged or banned in 2011 and 2012.


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Right before the start of high school, there was a party. At the party something happened, so Melinda called the cops. Because she called the cops, no one will talk to her. Because no one will talk, no one will listen, so Melinda stops talking, too. Was unsuccessfully challenged in Republic, MO because it "glorifies drinking, cursing, and premarital sex,” and “teaches principles contrary to the Bible.”

Betrayed by PC Cast and Kristin Cast. In this second installment of the House of Night series, Zoey and the House of Night are suspects in a a rash of teenage murders. Challenged in Fairbanks, AK high school libraries because “It simply causes kids to think even more of things sexual.

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Conan Doyle. This is Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson's first appearance. It was removed from required reading lists in Albermarle County, Va. for anti-Mormon content.


Hold Still by Nina LaCour. When Ingrid killed herself, she left her journal behind for Caitlin. Caitlin is still reeling from her best friend's death, but with the journal she may find her way to hope. Challenged in Blue Springs, MO school libraries and classrooms for obscene language.

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler. Four teens meet in the Caribbean resort, Paradise where there lives become entwined, which causes complications when they return back home. It was banned in Borger, TX school libraries for sexual content and language.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. Frankie plans for she and Anna to have the perfect summer fling by meeting a new boy every day to find the perfect one. Only, Anna's already had a perfect summer fling-- with Frankie's older brother, right before he died. Temporarily removed from Republic, MO high school for “sexual promiscuity, questionable language, drunkenness, lying to parents, and a lack of remorse by the characters.” When it was reinstated, access was restricted to parents-only.


Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age edited by Ariel Schrag. Several major comic book artists contribute tales of middle school angst, woe, and humiliation. Challenged in middle school libraries in three towns for “objectionable sexual and language references.” It was retained, but requires parental permission to check out.

Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff. A parallel memoir to Beautiful Boy, this is Nic's side of the story of his addiction and struggles to become, and remain, clean and sober. Taken off the required summer reading list for middle and high school students in Williamstown, NJ because of homosexual content and drug use.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Billy Pilgrim is unstuck in time--something that happens after getting abducted by aliens. Despite the crazy premise, this is actually a rather autobiographical dark story that focuses largely on his time as POW in Dresden during the firebombing. Temporarily removed from school libraries in Republic, MO for teaching principles contrary to the Bible. When it was reinstated, access was restricted to parents-only.

What are your favorite banned books?

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