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Sunday, April 1, 2012

April A to Z Challenge Letter "B" = Banned Books #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

Welcome back for the second day of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Today's letter is "B" and my topic is = BANNED BOOKS.

“Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.” —Alfred Whitney Griswold, Essays on Education

Here are the top seven from the current list from The Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom via American Library Association.

This list represents books challenged, removed, restricted or banned from May 2010 - May 2011.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Banned in the Stockton, MO School District (2010) because of violence, language and some sexual content. Retained in the Helena, Mont. School District (2011) despite a parent's objection that the book contained "obscene, vulgar and pornographic language." This New York Times Bestseller won the National award in 2007 in the "Young People's Literature" category, and is on many recommended book lists.


2. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson

Challenged in the Republic, MO. schools (2010) because it is "soft-pornography" and glorifies drinking, cursing and pre-marital sex.

The Flamingo Rising

3. The Flamingo Rising, by Larry Baker

Challenged on the Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, III summer reading list (2010) because a parent complained that "a sexual encounter depicted in the novel was definitely something you could consider X-rated."

The Notebook Girls

4The Notebook Girls: Four Friends, One Diary, Real Life, by Julia Baskin, Lindsey Newman, Sophie Pollitt-Cohen and Courtney Toombs

Reclassified from the Young Adult section to the adult non-fiction section at the Waukee, Iowa Public Library (2011) because of a complaint citing "foul language" and "cussing." The book includes frank discussions about  adolescent sex, drinking and drug use. Body use, sexual orientation and the 9/11 terrorist attacks are also addressed.

Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, #4)

Challenged at the Theisen Middle School in Fond du Lac, Wis. (2010) by a parent who believes that the book has inappropriate subject matter for children. "Some (of the characters in the book) are sexually active, and alcohol is part of their recreation."

Running With Scissors

6. Running With Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs

Challenged as a suggested reading in a class where juniors and seniors earn a college credit in Hillsborough, County, FL (2010). Four high schools - Plant, Middleton, Hillsborough and Bloomingdale - voted to keep the book and place a "Mature Reader" label on the front cover. Three high schools - Sickles, Robinson and Lennard - will require parental consent. Gaither High School and Riverview High School voted to ban the book. Riverview's report stated:

"This book has extremely inappropriate content for a high school media center collection. The book contained explicit homosexual and heterosexual situations. profanity, underage drinking, smoking, extreme moral shortcomings, child molesters, graphic pedophile situations and a total lack of negative consequences throughout the book." 

My Mom's Having a Baby!: A Kid's Month-By-Month Guide to Pregnancy

7. My Mom's Having a Baby, by Dori Hillstead Butler

Challenged in the Carrollton, TX Library (2011) because it is inappropriate for children. The book won an Editor's Choice award from Booklist in 2005 and was named a Top Ten Sci-Tech for Youth by Booklist. 

Retained at the Hillsborough County, FL Public Library System (2011).

Published in 2005, the book tells of a little girl named Elizabeth who is curious about childbirth and how her mother became pregnant. Throughout the book's thirty pages, little Elizabeth learns about these topics in great detail.

A couple of my personal favorite Banned Books that are not listed above are:
Go Ask Alice and To Kill A Mockingbird

What are some of your favorites? 

Thanks again for taking the time to stop by.
Have a fantastic week!

Happy Reading and Arrivederci. 


  1. Thanks for this list - banned books are fascinating anthropologically because they give some real clues about what exactly are the societal boundaries at that given point in time.

  2. Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail.---Love that. Thanks also for the list.

    Look forward to your challenge posts...
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  3. I read and absolutely LOVED Running With Scissors. Banning or restricting the book for college students, or even high school students, is ridiculous - despite the content.

  4. Running with scissors is the one that got me. These kids are thisclose to going out intothe world on their own, but they'd better not learn about it! All these parents are protecting their kids to death.

    Great list.

  5. Great post and really interesting topic. The fact they've been banned makes me want to read them all the more.

  6. Great topic. I don't think banning is the right choice, but I do believe there is plenty of great literature for teachers to choose from that isn't pushing the boundaries of appropriate, especially for the younger grades.

    Nice to meet you on the A-Z trail.

  7. It's so annoying to think that people limit what children are allowed to read based on their personal (and sometimes immature tastes) even if there's a child out there that needs exactly that book that's banned.

  8. Another A to Z challenger stopping by! I never read any of these, but thank you for sharing this. It's interesting to see how little it takes for some people to get people worked up.

  9. Ahhhh, I see what you mean. This is such an apt and fitting topic! Love it. Love books. Love banned books the most of all.

  10. I've gotta go with Catcher in the Rye. And The Giver. Oh, there are so many. My motto is "all knowledge is worth having." That includes books. Read and let read :) Great post.

  11. Harry Potter was banned from all the Christian schools in my area. The children use to wear scarfs, and make house symbols to show which house they were in.

  12. Love the quote, and the topic!

  13. I really hate that some books are banned. Especially those that are classics and have such a good message for anyone willing to think a little. I did not know that To Kill a Mockingbird was banned in some schools. What a shame.

  14. Love the post and the list of banned books so I can go find them and read them myself!

    1. That is exactly what I was thinking as I was typing this post. I actually bought one of the books on my Nook!

  15. The only one I've read from this banned books list is SPEAK, and it was pretty good.
    I think that it should be up to parents as to whether they think a certain book is appropriate reading for their child. And books with controversial issues can often spark important discussions that people may not otherwise have had. Just my thoughts :-)

    Rachel Morgan Writes

  16. I am sure I have read many banned books, but the one I remember most is Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews. I read it in high school in the 1980s and remember a teacher being concerned that I was reading it. She contacted my mother whose comment was--"I read it first, then gave it to Laurie." Yay for a mom who knew her daughter and had read the book.

    I got so tired of the ranting about Harry Potter by people who had not read the book. I truly believe that you can't protest something you really know nothing about especially if what you are objecting to is taken totally out of context.

    Just my opinion.

    Laurie Fowler
    A to Z Challenge Places I want to Go

  17. Wow! Thank you all for the awesome comments! I love what you have to say. You guys rock my socks. Like, whoa! I will try and comment individually later but I'm trying to visit other blogs in the challenge. I don't see anything that is begging my attention. If you'd asked something and I missed that - I totally apologize. It wasn't on purpose.

    Thank you again for taking the time to visit and comment. I appreciate all of you! ;)

  18. I hopped over here from the A to Z site and I love your B entry. I just finished re-reading To Kill A Mockingbird (very different reading it as an adult) and I have a copy of Go Ask Alice on my bookshelf just waiting for my daughter to be old enough to read it. It's a good thing parents can't be banned for using inappropriate language! I'd be in trouble.
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

  19. What I don't understand is the same people who freak out and ban books are the ones who let their kids play violent video games or watch violent movies.

    I'd have a much harder time with my kid reading Twilight than I would The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. And 13 Reasons Why is a book every high school kid should read. It's wonderful when difficult material is dealt with competently and creatively--and especially good when we can get those books in kid's hands.
    (came over from the A to Z twitter hashtag)

  20. I think that the 'banned books' issues was one of the things that really shocked me when I first heard it. I pretty much read so many titles from the banned list that I felt guilty, lol. My mum bought me Go ask Alice and to kill a mockingbird (which I adored) and many others. She thought I was smart and wise enought to understand them and she never, ever, stopped me from reading what I wanted and always explained me if I had doubts. Difficult reads make you think