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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.

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.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Parents and students challenged the use of this book in middle school curriculum, characterizing parts of it as pornographic.

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.

Alice Walker's classic novel has been challenged over its frank portrayal of two African-American sisters living under the sexual and racial oppression of the 1930s Deep South.

Judy Blume is a beloved author, yet her books garner quite a bit of attention from parents who reject her stories about the realities of adolescence and childhood.

Slaughterhouse-five is one of Kurt Vonnegut's best known works. It has been challenged in multiple locations because it contains profanity.

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."

A great resource! We used it to describe the challenges books on this board have faced over the years.

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.

The Grapes of Wrath had an electrifying impact upon publication in 1939, unleashing a political storm with its vision of America's dispossessed struggling for survival.

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!

In Alabama, this book was objected to in 1990 by parents of schoolchildren because it "dealt with New Age religion and sent a mixed signal to children about good and evil."

In 1992, a parent in O'Fallon, Illinois, objected to the use of Tom Sawyer in a 6th grade classroom because of the book's use of the n-word.

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Challenged in 1988 by two residents in Richmond, WA, who objected high school students reading it for class due to the book's portrayal of suicide, illicit sex, violence, and hopelessness.

Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. This book was challenged because of claims that the book "raised sexual issues without giving them moral resolution."