Banned Books Week 2013
Celebrate your freedom to read! Visit the library to check out books. Visit our YouTube channel to see SU Students reading passages from challenged novels and other books.
Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons -- chronicles the fall from grace of a group of superheroes plagued by all too human failings. The concept of the super hero is dissected and inverted as strangely realistic characters are stalked by an unknown assassin. Originally published as a 12 issue series in 1986 and 1987, WATCHMEN remains one of DC Comics' most popular graphic novels.
The inclusion of the compiled Watchmen in school library collections has been challenged by parents at least twice, according to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.
Oddly, Satrapi's graphic novel, Persepolis, faced no censorship fights until "March 2013, when Chicago Public Schools administrators abruptly pulled it from some classrooms. The circumstances surrounding the ban remain unclear to this day." -- Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
As with many critically-acclaimed books — particularly graphic novels — Alison Bechdel's Fun Home soon drew the attention of would-be censors. In 2006, Louise Mills of Marshall, Missouri, requested that the book be removed from the local public library. Mills characterized the books as “pornography” and expressed concern that children might be drawn to them because they looked like comic books.” -- Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini has been challenged when used as part of high school curriculum because of a rape scene and language considered too vulgar.
Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Richard Wright's novel is just as powerful today as when it was written -- in its reflection of poverty and hopelessness, and what it means to be black in America. Native Son has faced challenges to its inclusion in school and public libraries because of its portrayal of sexuality, offensive language, and violence.
Now a children's classic, Heather Has Two Mommies has faced numerous challenges to its availability in libraries. In Elizabethtown, North Carolina in 1992, the group Bladen Coalition of Christians asked the County Commission to remove this book from the Bladen County Library, calling it "wicked, seditious, and dangerous."
One Hundred Years of Solitude was challenged in California in 1990. The complaint "asserted that the book was profane, vulgar, and sordid and was negative tot he Catholic church." The court settlement allowed the book to remain the library where the student of the parent who complained attended school; however, teachers were forbidden to assign the book to students.
Banned Books Week: Celebrate your freedom to read! Smith Library Center is observing Banned Books Week to make students, faculty, and staff aware that censorship is very real. There are always individuals and groups who will try to limit what we can and cannot read. Smith Library strives to make access to literature and information as broad and unfettered as possible. We do not ban books nor do we condone censorship! Read a banned book today!