Banned Book Week celebrates the freedom to read and challenges us to read books that have caused controversy. Since 1990, the Office of Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association has been keeping track of books that are challenged at public and school libraries around the country. The American Library Association describes a book challenge as, “a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness”. In 2011, 326 books were challenged around the country. Books are challenged for a variety of reasons and what some people consider classics others consider challenge worthy.
For more information about Banned Book Week and more challenge worthy reads go to:
Read what all the fuss is about with this selection of 2011’s challenged books from around the United States. You may be surprised to find some of these titles on the list.
HUNGER GAMES, BOOK 1
COLLINS, SUZANNE Original Date: 2008
In a future North America, Panem’s rulers maintain control through a televised survival competition pitting teens from twelve districts in a fight to the death. Sixteen-year-olds Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are this year’s girl and boy contestants from District Twelve. Some violence. For junior and senior high readers.
BR 18488 BT 03374 DB 68384 DX 68384
LB 06861 RC 68384
ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN
ALEXIE, SHERMAN Original Date: 2007
Spokane Indian Reservation. Fourteen-year-old Junior–beset with physical problems caused by brain damage–transfers to an all-white town school. Called a traitor by his best friend and Tonto by his new classmates, Junior uses humor and wit to bridge the cultural divide. Some strong language. For junior and senior high readers.
DB 65403 DLD RC 65403
AGONY OF ALICE
NAYLOR, PHYLLIS REYNOLDS Original Date: 1985
Throughout the summer, Alice McKinley has been remembering all of the dumb things she’s ever done. She’s had no mother for years; no wonder she’s always getting into embarrassing situations. Now that sixth grade is beginning and she’s almost a teenager, Alice figures she’d better find a good role model–fast. This is the first in a series of 25 books.
BRAVE NEW WORLD
HUXLEY, ALDOUS Original Date: 1946
A satire of a technocratic future society in which people are rigidly classified and kept happy by a government-administered drug. When two bureaucrats, Lenina and Bernard, travel to a “savage” reservation, they “rescue” a woman and her adult son, abandoned long ago, and return them to civilization. An argument with the “World Controller” demonstrates the incompatibility of individual freedom and a totally planned society. For senior high and older readers.
BR 01601 BR 11922 DB 47108 DLD DX 47108 LB 02990 RC 47108
WHAT MY MOTHER DOESN’T KNOW
SONES, SONYA Original Date: 2001
Fourteen-year-old Sophie describes her life in prose poems. She discusses her search for Mr. Right, her unhappy parents, her school activities, and her friends, Grace and Rachel. Grade 1 braille. For senior high readers.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
LEE, HARPER Original Date: 1960
Scout Finch is an outspoken and literate six-year-old tomboy when she begins her tale of growing up in a small Alabama town with her brother Jem and her attorney father Atticus. The children’s intense curiosity about a reclusive neighbor is eclipsed by Atticus’s attempt to defend a black man against charges of raping a white woman. Pulitzer Prize winner.
BR 12850 DB 36414 DLD DX 36414 RC 36414