People challenge books in school and public libraries all the time, everywhere. bannedbooksweek.org, in addition to their list of Banned Book Week events, now has a map of book challenges in the United States. Here's what they say about it:
There are hundreds of challenges to books in schools and libraries in the United States every year. According to the American Library Association (ALA), there were at least 513 in 2008. But the total is far larger. 70 to 80 percent are never reported.
I took a look through the ALA's list of challenged and banned books for 2008-09 and I was happy to see books that I've reviewed on this blog, and more importantly, books that I've bought for the two school library collections that I manage.
Here is just a sample of the books that people have felt most threatened by in the past year. If I've reviewed it, the link is on the title. Get threatened! Read these books!
Alexie, Sherman. Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian.
Brannen, Sarah. Uncle Bobby's Wedding
Colfer, Eoin. Supernaturalist. This book had me on the edge of my seat, though I never reviewed it here. Dystopic YA fiction oh yeah!
Green, John. Looking for Alaska. Nobody writes realistic teen stories, with all their real drama and real humor, like John Green. Apparently somebody objected to all the real.
Kaysen, Susanna. Girl, Interrupted. Oh sure, it's harsh. It's graphic. But for any girl going through mental torment, it is a warm port in the storm.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. ...but remember, it's a sin to ban a classic.
de Haan, Linda and Stern Njiland. King and King.
Harris, Robie. It's Perfectly Normal. It's perfectly predictable for a book with the word "sex" in the subtitle to get some people's panties in a twist. Reading the word isn't going to give your kids chlamydia, you know.
Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass
Parnell, Peter. And Tango makes three. Gay! Gay penguins! Indoctrinating our children with their cuddly gayness! AAAGH!
Myers, Walter Dean. Fallen Angels. One of the very few books about modern war for teens, and people complain about the language.
Salinger, J.D. Catcher in the Rye. Yup, people are still objecting to the depiction of nosepicking in this book.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Every year. Every year somebody gets worked up about it. As if our children would never learn the n-word if it weren't for that rascal Huck.