Thursday, September 30, 2010

Banned or challenged books - a report

Here's a crazy report featuring books that were banned or challenged at schools or libraries in 2009 and 2010. Here are my favorite nonsensical challenges, because, apparently ...

  ... there's no need to know about the Holocaust:

"Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" (Doubleday)

Challenged at the Culpeper County, Va. public school (2010) by a parent requesting that her daughter not be required to read the book aloud. Initially, it was reported that officials have decided to stop assigning a version of Anne Frank’s diary, one of the most enduring symbols of the atrocities of the Nazi regime, due to the complaint that the book includes sexual material and homosexual themes. The director of instruction announced the edition, published on the fiftieth anniversary of Frank’s death in a concentration camp, will not be used in the future despite the fact the school system did not follow its own policy for handling complaints. The remarks set off a hailstorm of criticism online and brought international attention to the 7,600-student school system in rural Virginia. The superintendent said, however, that the book will remain a part of the English classes, although it may be taught at a different grade level.
... classics suck.

Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird" (Lippincott/Harper; Popular Library)
Removed from the St. Edmund Campion Secondary School classrooms in Brampton, Ontario, Canada (2009) because a parent objected to language used in the novel, including the word “nigger.”
... nobody needs words.

Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (Merriam-Webster)
Pulled from the Menifee, Calif. Union School District (2010) because a parent complained when a child came across the term “oral sex.” Officials said the district is forming a committee to consider a permanent classroom ban of the dictionary.
... vampires not having sex are no fun.

Stephenie H. Meyer, Twilight series (Little)
Banned in Australia (2009) for primary school students because the series is too racy. Librarians have stripped the books from shelves in some junior schools because
they believe the content is too sexual and goes against religious beliefs. They even have asked parents not to let kids bring their own copies of Stephenie Meyer’s
smash hit novels — which explore the stormy love affair between a teenage girl and a vampire — to school.
... awesome graphic novels turned into bad movies must be bad.

Aland Moore, "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier" (America’s Best Comics)

Challenged at the Jessamine County Public Library in Nicolasville, Ky. (2009). A petition with 950 signatures was presented to the board to overturn its collection policy. The petition specifi cally asked for the removal of four works on the grounds that they “offended me in that they depict sexual acts and/or describe such acts in a way that in my opinion are contrary to the Jessamine County public opinion” of what should be in a public, taxpayer-supported collection. The petition concluded the works constituted a public safety issue in that they encourage sexual predators. In addition to Moore’s graphic novel, the other works challenged were Snuff, by Chuck Palahniuk, Choke, a DVD based on a novel by Palahniuk; and the DVD Ron White:
You Can’t Fix Stupid. The graphic novel eventually got two employees fi red for breaching library policies, the library director was threatened with physical harm, and the book was recataloged, along with other graphic novels with mature trends, to a separate but unrestricted graphic novels section of the library.

Full Report follows:

2010 Banned