Friday, April 17, 2009

Challenged books in 2008

Who knew this still existed?
Some objections led to the removal of ["The Kite Runner"] from library shelves, while others saw it replaced with bowdlerised versions minus the offending scenes, according to the American Library Association, which compiles an annual list of the most challenged titles in the country.

The ALA recorded 513 challenges in 2008, up from 420 in 2007. The ALA defines a challenge as "a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed or restricted because of content or appropriateness". It estimates that as few as one in five challenges are actually reported. "We believe this is just the tip of the iceberg," said Caldwell-Stone. Seventy-four books were actually removed from shelves following challenges last year, the ALA said.

The books may change from year to year but sadly, each year books are challenged and banned. It's interesting to view lists of banned/challenged books. And a little disappointing. That a children's' book like "The Lorax" would be challenged because it puts the foresting industry in a bad light is fairly sad. So is the fact that a small powerful book titled "Of Mice and Men" should be banned time and time again. Why? "Vulgar language", "violence", and "obscenities". There are many lists of challenged books, some more detailed than others. And even though it isn't banned books week quite yet, there's something troubling to the fact that people are still trying to remove books from public shelves.


  1. I so agree with you. Any time people want to do something that the Nazis did, they should probably drop everything and ask themselves why that is. Restricting what people read is fascist. Don't like it? Don't read it.

  2. It is absolutely sad and frustrating that in a free society, some people think they have the right to restrict what others read. But as long as people who believe in freedom continue to act and speak out, those people will inevitably fail.


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