Oct 6, 2011

Top Ten Far-fetched Reasons to Challenge a Book - 2011

At Your Library just published the Top Ten Far-fetched Reasons to Challenge a Book - 2011. All of the books below have been challenged for some reason or another and from different years, not just 2011. Readers were asked to vote for the most far-fetched reason to challenge a book and below are the results:

10.Farenheit 451by Ray Bradbury
Novel went against the challenger's "religious beliefs" and contained "discussions of being drunk, smoking cigarettes, violence and dirty talk."
This novel, about book burning and censorship, was challenged at the Conroe (Texas) Independent School District in 2006.

9. My Friend Flickaby Mary O' Hara
Pulled from fifth- and sixth-grade optional reading lists in Clay County (Fla.) schools in 1990 because the book uses the word “bitch” to refer to a female dog, as well as the word damn.

8. Bury My Heart at Wounded Kneeby Dee Brown
Removed in Wild Rose, Wisconsin in 1974 by a district administrator because the book was “slanted” and “ if there’s a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it.”

7.  The Lorax  by Dr. Seuss
Complaining that The Lorax "criminalizes a very legitimate and needed industry," a local businessman sought to have the book removed from the school required reading list in 1989 in the Northern California timber town of Laytonville. 

6. The Rabbit’s Wedding, by Garth Williams
Removed from the “open shelves” to the "reserved" shelves at the Montgomery (Ala.) Public Library in 1959 because of an illustration of the lapin couple - the buck is black while the doe is white. Such miscegenation, stated an editor in Orlando, was “brainwashing….as soon as you pick up the book and open its pages you realize these rabbits are integrated.” The Home News of Montgomery, Alabama, added that the book was integrationist propaganda obviously aimed at children in their formative years.

5. Many Watersby Madeleine L Engle
Challenged at the Hubbard (Ohio) Library in 1991 because the book alters the story of Noah’s Ark, making it secular and confusing to children.

4.  Anne Frank:The Diary of Young Girlby Anne Frank
In 1983 four members of the Alabama State Textbook Committee called for the rejection of this title because it is a “real downer."

3. Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 
Pulled from the Menifree Union School District in California in 2010 when a parent complained that 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.

2. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  by Bill Martin, Jr.
In its haste to sort out the state's social studies curriculum standards in 2010, the Texas State Board of Education tossed children's author Martin, from a proposal for the third-grade section because an author with the same name had written Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation.

1. Little Red Riding Hood, by Jacob Grimm
Banned by two California districts in 1990, Culver City and Empire, because an illustration shows Little Red Riding Hood’s basket with a bottle of wine as well as fresh bread and butter. The wine could be seen as condoning the use of alcohol. The book was also challenged on similar grounds (also in 1990) by parents of students in the fifth- and sixth grades at Clay County (Fla.) Elementary School and a Bradford County (Fla.) teacher .

Crae crae, right? Number 4, The Diary of Anne Frank, is by far the craziest excuse to ban a book I've ever heard! Because it is a real....."downer?" Wow! The nerve of some people! I thought the list was humorous and worth the share. It brings light to challenged books - always a good thing, and also sheds some light on some of the absurd things that people will conjure up out of intolerance and fear. 

Follow the LINK and find out what titles made the list in 2010.