Books Behaving Badly
Every year hundreds of books get challenged for their content. Banned Book Week (September 23-30) is a time to celebrate the freedom the read. So pick up any book you darn well feel like, and enjoy!
Every year the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression compiles a list of banned and challenged books. A "challenged" book has, for whatever reason, been considered by one of more people to be inappropriate, and its removal from library shelves has been requested. A "banned" book is a challenged book that has actually been pulled from the shelves. Here are some of the books from this year's list.
Banned for containing nude photos of 9
US Supreme Court justices
Stewart's The Daily Show is a major source of news for the 20-something
set as well as older television watchers
Packed with jokes, this mock textbook contains chapters packed with
ludicrous charts and maps, sidebars, illustrations and discussion questions.
Features include a foldout chart of the "shadow government" and of
course, the infamous "dress the Supreme Court" page
depicting the justices in the nude.
Challenged for profanity, sexual content,
vulgarity, violence and racial slurs
Awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993, Toni Morrison powerfully evokes in her fiction the legacies of displacement and slavery that have been bequeathed to the African-American community. Although Beloved is likely the most widely celebrated of her novels, Song of Solomon is perhaps the most lyrical, following Milkman Dead as he struggles to understand his family history and the ways in which that history has both been damaged by and transcended the horror of slavery.
Challenged for vulgar language and violent imagery
The first and most admired book of McCarthy's Border trilogy is his
National Book Award-winning All The Pretty Horses. In highly evocative
prose that puts the reader firmly in the saddle, the novel follows the
progress of laconic 16-year-old Texan John Grady Cole, his pal Lacey
Rawlins, and the mysterious young sharp shooter Jimmy Blevins as they
ride across the border into Mexico in search of adventure.
Banned for profanity and "pagan" content
Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima enters his life. She is a curandera,
one who heals with herbs and magic. Soon Tony will journey to the threshold of
manhood. Ultima always watches over him. Under her wise guidance, Tony will probe
the family ties that bind him, and he will find in himself the magical secrets
of the pagan past. At each turn in his life there is Ultima who will nurture
the birth of his soul.
Challenged for sexual content, offensive
language and violence
A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly
appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few
days 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team
of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this
exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a
hair-raising acccount of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and
their "crashes" into the human race.
Challenged for depictions of infidelity
Set in the San Francisco Bay area, Between Lovers centres around a complex love triangle. The novel's narrator is still reeling from being dumped by Nicole after seven good years and an aborted trip to the altar. She likes what she has now, but misses what she had, and wants to find out if she can have it all. She's playing with fire, but she lures her former fianc back into her life, opening the floodgates of anger, passion, pain...and refreshing honesty.
Challenged for profane language and depictions of teenage sexuality
Published more than 30 years ago, this tender account of first love between teenagers
Katherine and Michael - who decide to "go all the way" - continues to garner
both praise and controversy over its sexual content. The book has been
used to open up frank discussions about sex, yet groups to this day are
campaigning to have it removed school library shelves.
Challenged for racial slurs, banned from school play stages
of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many
distinctions since its publication in 1960. It won the Pulitzer Prize, has been
translated into more than forty languages, and has sold more than thirty million
copies worldwide. Most recently, librarians across the country voted it the best
novel of the twentieth century. Imagine if the book was actually banned!