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Banned books: 10 of the most-challenged books in America

Each year, libraries across the United States report hundreds of challenges. The leading causes for contesting a book are sexually explicit content, offensive language and inappropriate subjects for minors [source: American Library Association ].


  1. Mercenarys Soldiers (The Wild Geese Saga Book 6).
  2. Bookbanning in America: Who Bans Books? - And Why - William Noble - Google книги?
  3. Just a Girl From the Cornfields.

Only a minority of the requests actually make it through to banning the book from its respective library. When filling their shelves, librarians do not judge the content of books on whether it would be suitable for all audiences. As public institutions, libraries may not discriminate on disseminating information on the basis of age, sex or race, which means that people can check out whatever materials they choose.

That said, libraries request that parents and guardians of minors monitor their selections. Generally, libraries follow content development policies when adding new titles.

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These policies govern the selection process and are assessed and approved by the library board. Most books have often been reviewed by professional librarians or book discussion groups or requested by patrons.

5 Books You Can't Read in American Schools - Brainwash Update

What is the legal background behind book banning, and why do most challenges dead end? On the next page we'll discuss legal precedents for book bans.


  1. How to Get Along with some Grumpy Kids who are sad, mad, or scared.: Book Two.
  2. How Book Banning Works | HowStuffWorks.
  3. See a Problem?!
  4. Bookbanning in America: Who Bans Books? - And Why by William Noble!

Author Maurice Sendak had a hard time getting his classic children's book Where the Wild Things Are published, as many editors feared that troublemaker Max's imaginary adventure into a fantasy land was too dark and frightening. When the book was finally published in , the book was banned because adults found it problematic that Max was punished by being sent to bed without dinner, and they also bristled at the book's supernatural themes.

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A column in Ladies Home Journal deemed the book "psychologically damaging for 3- and 4-year-olds. Harriet the Spy was banned from shelves because the titular character spies. Some schools blocked Louise Fitzhugh's book from shelves when it came out in the s because of concerns that the year-old child's penchant for peeping on her neighbors, jotting down her brutally honest observations, and being generally disagreeable could negatively influence kids by setting a bad example.

Early critics argued that Harriet "didn't spy, but rather gossiped, slandered, and hurt other people without feeling sorry about her actions," Thought Co. You might assume the dictionary is the least likely place a teen would search for illicit content, but school administrators in Alaska believed otherwise. Both American Heritage and Merriam Webster have been banned in various libraries and schools.

Book banning sadly persists as an American tradition

In , for example, the Anchorage School Board banned the American Heritage Dictionary for its "objectionable" entries — particularly slang words, including "bed," "knocker," and "balls. William Steig's Sylvester and the Magic Pebble , about an unassuming donkey transformed into a rock after finding a magic pebble, portrays a sweet-natured character wishing for the impossible.

But the anthropomorphic animals in the award-winning children's book did not sit well with all audiences. In , police associations in 12 states urged the libraries to remove the book, because it portrays police as pigs.

Diary of a Young Girl , by Anne Frank, chronicles the tragic experience of a Jewish family in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, where the year-old and her family hid until they were caught and sent to concentration camps in August The book has been challenged numerous times for sexually explicit passages, and, in , the Alabama State Textbook Committee called for rejecting the book because it was "a real downer. Beloved children's author Dr. Seuss took a stand for the environment in with The Lorax , which describes the destruction of an imagined forest of woolly Truffula trees.

The narrator chops down the trees to use their foliage to knit clothing. While some readers may have been offended by the book's use of the word "stupid," it was the logging industry that was insulted by the anti-deforesting plot line.

Book banning sadly persists as an American tradition | The Gazette

When kids read Little Red Riding Hood , they take away the message that they shouldn't talk to strangers — especially those with big, shiny teeth. But when school officials in Culver City, California, looked at an illustrated version of the tale by Trina Schart Hyman, they saw a different message: Alcohol is yummy.

They were outraged that young Ms. Hood is pictured with a bottle of wine in her basket, which granny later glugs down. The Brothers Grimm infamously pushed children's fairy tales to the limits — sometimes landing the 19th-century authors on the banned list.

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Hansel and Gretel , the tale of two siblings who get into trouble for eating sweets reserved for a witch, has been rejected before, but, in , it was challenged again, this time by two self-proclaimed witches who said the tale gives witches a bad name. Since Lois Lowry's The Giver was published in , it's been "one of the most controversial books in American schools," Slate reports. The dystopian young adult novel, about a year-old boy's discovery of the truths behind the seemingly perfect society in which he resides, is most commonly banned for being "unsuited to age group," for "violence," or for being "sexually explicit" because of the tough themes it grapples with, including euthanasia and drug use.