Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Banned Book Week
In all, there have been more than 8,700 attempts to ban books since the American Library Association began compiling and publishing information on book challenges in 1990.
There were 405 known attempts to remove books from library shelves in 2005, according to the ALA, which defines challenges as formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.
About 70 percent of challenges take place in schools and school libraries. According to Judith F. Krug, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, the number of challenges reflects only incidents reported, and for each reported, four or five remain unreported.
The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2005” were:
“It's Perfectly Normal” for homosexuality, nudity, sex education, religious viewpoint, abortion and being unsuited to age group;
“Forever” by Judy Blume for sexual content and offensive language;
“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger for sexual content, offensive language and being unsuited to age group;
“The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier for sexual content and offensive language;
“Whale Talk” by Chris Crutcher for racism and offensive language;
“Detour for Emmy” by Marilyn Reynolds for sexual content;
“What My Mother Doesn't Know” by Sonya Sones for sexual content and being unsuited to age group;
Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey for anti-family content, being unsuited to age group and violence;
“Crazy Lady!” by Jane Leslie Conly for offensive language; and
“It's So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families” by Robie H. Harris for sex education and sexual content.
You can order a Banned Books Week poster or vote for your favorite banned book at the American Library Association's Banned Books website. Our vote goes to Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried."