• 100 Banned Books (11-20)

    Back from Phoenix! And here are the next 10 books from the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000.

    NEW! Some of these books have reviews by one of the project’s heavy readers–mouse! She’s on ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ (part of the #20 entry), now. I’ll add that review when she’s done.

    Even Newer! (8/31) Added Aden’s review of ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and Grace’s review of ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’.

    TITLE: Heather Has Two Mommies
    AUTHOR: Leslea Newman
    ISBN: 155583180X
    Plot Summary: (see #2, “Daddy’s Roommate”)
    Complaints: Homosexuality, Sexual themes.
    Challenged but retained at Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio, Public Library. Challeged but retained in the Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts school library. Removed by the officials at the Cottage Grove, Oregon Lane County Head Start center. Challenged at the Chandler, Arizona, Public Library.
    Solonor Says Ban It Because: Duh…it’s about women without men…what kind of a world is that??
    The History of Heather

    TITLE: My Brother Sam is Dead
    AUTHOR: James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
    ISBN: 059042792X
    Plot Summary: Tim Meeker looks up to his brother, Sam. Sam’s smart and brave and is now a part of the American Revolution. Not everyone in town wants to be a part of the rebellion. Most are supporters of the British–including Tim and Sam’s father. With the war soon raging, Tim know he’ll have to make a choice–between the Revolutionaries and the Redcoats . . . and between his brother and his father.
    Complaints: Offensive language
    Removed from fifth-grade classes at Bryant Ranch Elementary School in the Placentia-Yorba Linda, California Unified School District. Challenged but retained at teh Palmyra, Pennsylvania area schools.
    Solonor Says Ban It Because: If I’ve told you kids once, I’ve told you a thousand times. Cut out the fucking swearing!
    The Sun – Parent Seeks to Remove Novel from Schools

    TITLE: The Catcher in the Rye
    AUTHOR: J.D. Salinger
    ISBN: 0316769487
    Plot Summary: Salinger’s classic tale of a boy, Holden Caulfield, and his sometimes funny experiences with life and sex and growing up.
    Aden’s Mini-Review: This book will never go out of style. For years kids will keep dogearred copies of this book in their pockets and in their bags. It has the biggest reputation for badness and will never leave the banned list in my opinion. Why? Because it is too real, and no one can handle reality.
    Complaints: Offensive language, sexual content, occultism, violence
    Challenged but retained at the New Richmond, Wisconsin High School for some English classes. Challenged but retained as required reading in the Corona-Norco, California Unified School District – if alternative readings were given to students who objected to the novel. Challenged as required reading in Goffstown, New Hampshire schools.
    Solonor Says Ban It Because: It’s got the nerve to have swearing AND sex and still try to be funny? This is one, long porno trip. When defenders of this smut told Howard Bagwell, a South Carolina school board member in 2001, that “this represents the way teenagers think,” he replied: “I never did think like that, and I don’t know of any 15-year-olds who do.”
    Exactly, Howard. Exactly.
    Carolina Reporter – Dorchester school board member wants to ban “Catcher in the Rye”

    TITLE: The Giver
    AUTHOR: Lois Lowry
    ISBN: 0440219078
    Plot Summary: Jonas, a 12-year old boy in a futuristic utopia, is given his life assignment by the Elders. It turns out, he is given a special job as receiver of memories and learns hidden secrets about his world with a mysterious man called The Giver.
    Complaints: Occultism, violence, sexual themes
    Temporarily banned from classes in Bonita Unified School District in La Verne and San Dimas, California
    Solonor Says Ban It Because: This is too confusing for young minds to grasp. There is no heroic ending! Besides, it will just encourage them to think they can question the system.
    freedomforum.org – Award-winning book frequent target in schools

    TITLE: It’s Perfectly Normal
    AUTHOR: Robie Harris
    ISBN: 1564021998
    Plot Summary: Cartoon characters answer kids’ questions about sex.
    Complaints: Sexual themes
    Challenged in the Holland, MA Public Library (2000) due to its sexually explicit content. The book was moved from the children’s to the adult section of the library. Challenged at the Marion County, FL Public Library (2001). Critics called the book pornographic and demanded it be permanently removed from the library or placed in a special restricted-access area.
    Solonor Says Ban It Because: Come on! If you teach kids about s..ss..se..the ‘s’ word, they’re gonna go out and do it…all the time…especially those little ones!
    Houston Chronicle – Book faces ban in Montgomery County

    TITLE: Goosebumps (series)
    AUTHOR: R.L. Stine
    ISBN: 0590399888
    Plot Summary: Scary stories (see #1) for kids.
    Complaints: Violence…and um, scariness…
    Solonor Says Ban It Because: J.K. Rowling…R.L. Stine…J.D. Salinger….need I say more?
    News-Star – ‘Goosebumps,’ ‘Huck Finn’ on list of banned books

    TITLE: A Day No Pigs Would Die
    AUTHOR: Robert Newton Peck
    ISBN: 0679853065
    Plot Summary: It’s ‘Old Yeller’ with a pig! A 13-year-old Vermont farm boy, whose father slaughters pigs for a living, takes on adult duties.
    Word from the mouse: It was a small and poignant story that could help children learn both about the “Shaker” way of life, different from their own, as well as death and how people deal with it. That it’s okay to cry. Everyone has their own different ways of mourning. Full Review
    Complaints: Violence, sexual themes, offensive language
    Pulled from the Anderson S.C. middle school library (1995) because of the descriptions of two pigs mating, a pig being slaughtered, and a cow giving birth. Banned from the St. Lawrence School in Utica, Mich. (1997) because of a passage involving pig breeding. The teacher quit her job over the banning of the novel.
    Solonor Says Ban It Because: Eww! Ick! I don’t want to know where my pork chops come from, and I am sure my kids shouldn’t either.

    TITLE: The Color Purple
    AUTHOR: Alice Walker
    ISBN: 0671727796
    Plot Summary: Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the life of a black woman and her self-realization after years of abuse and neglect.
    Word from the mouse: There’s a lot of issues covered in this novel that would indeed help educate others to another way of thinking. Full Review
    Complaints: Violence, sexual themes, offensive language
    Considered inappropriate because of its “troubling ideas about race relations, man’s relationship to God, African history and human sexuality.” Challenged by Oakland, California, high school honors class, 1984; rejected for purchase by Hayward, California, school trustees. Banned from high schools in Pennsylvania and West Virginia in the 1990s as

    Friday, August 30th, 2002 at 02:28
  • Grace Kim
    Tuesday, September 3rd, 2002 at 18:58 | #1

    I think you can you can ban a book because it answers questions about sex. I think it further educates kids about sex, and I’m sure that the author also added the cons aobut sex so the kids would think before they even touch on that idea. Also, just because a kid read a book about sex that answers questions about it, it doesn’t neccessarily mean they’re going to find someone to actually do it with.

  • Sunday, October 27th, 2002 at 12:57 | #2

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!!!!!! These works of beautiful art do not depict garbage and smut, they depict LIFE and what it means to dream, to ask questions, to THINK!! Whether you philistines and book burners like it or not, SEX EXISTS, COURSE LANGUAGE EXISTS, HOMOSEXUALITY EXISTS, RELIGIONS AND SCIENTIFIC THEORIES THAT DIFFER FROM EACH OTHER, THEY ALL EXIST!! You think you are protecting us, your children; however, you are doing quite the opposite… We NEED books. We need THESE books. I mean, YOU certainly aren’t teaching us anything other than to FEAR change and diversity, two things that essentially make this planet and its people eminently and indescribably wonderul… If you take these great novels away from us and shelter us from their ideas, then where do you want us to learn these concepts from, television? HA!!!!!!!! THERE IS YOUR SMUT AND GARBAGE!!

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