banned books week is September 25 – October 3 this year. that`s right there are still books that are challenged and banned in public libraries everywhere. my amazon list has been modified to include booksense picks; which are all challenged books.

according to a press release from the ALA the 10 most challenged books of 2003 were:

Alice series, for sexual content, using offensive language, and being unsuited to age group.

Harry Potter series, for its focus on wizardry and magic.

“Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, for using offensive language.

“Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture” by Michael A. Bellesiles, for inaccuracy.

“Fallen Angels” by Walter Dean Myers, for racism, sexual content, offensive language, drugs and violence.

“Go Ask Alice” by Anonymous, for drugs.

“It`s Perfectly Normal” by Robie Harris, for homosexuality, nudity, sexual content and sex education.

“We All Fall Down” by Robert Cormier, for offensive language and sexual content.

“King and King” by Linda de Haan, for homosexuality.

“Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson, for offensive language and occult/satanism.

Off the list this year, but on the list for several years past, are “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, for sexual content, racism, offensive language, violence and being unsuited to age group; “Captain Underpants” by Dav Pilkey, for insensitivity and being unsuited to age group; and  “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, for racism, insensitivity and offensive language.

banned books week is also tied to the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression`s Campaign for Reader Privacy amendment to the Patriot Act. Under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the government can search your bookstore and library records without a court order, the amendment proposes to eliminate that section from the act.

edit

based on some queries here is some excepted info on how books are challenged from the ALA website:

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others…

The American Library Association (ALA) collects information from two sources: newspapers and reports submitted by individuals, some of whom use the Challenge Database Form…

…Research suggests that for each challenge reported there are as many as four or five which go unreported.

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