Books Challenged or Banned in 1999-2000, by Robert P. Doyle

Books challenged, restricted, removed, or banned in 1999-2000 as reported in the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom from May 1999 through March 2000.

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Allende, Isabel

The House of the Spirits

Knopf; Bantam

Challenged on the tenth-grade reading list at La Costa Canyon High School in Encinitas, Calif. (1999) because the work “defames” the Catholic faith and contains “pornographic passages.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 1999, p. 164.


Anaya, Rudolfo A.

Bless Me, Ultima

TQS Pubns.

Removed from the Laton, Calif. Unified School District (1999) because it contains violence and profanity that might harm students. The novel is considered by many critics to be the finest work by the New Mexico writer, widely respected as one of the leading Hispanic writers in the U.S. It was chosen by teachers who thought it would be welcomed by the district’s students, who are 80 percent Hispanic. Challenged at the John Jay High School in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. (2000) because the book is “full of sex and cursing.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 1999, pp. 120-21; Mar. 2000, p. 51.


Anders, Jim

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Sex on the Net

Que

Challenged, but retained at the Will Hampton Branch of the Austin, Tex. Public Library (1999) despite complaints from at least three parents that the book is “obscene.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 1999, p. 172.

 


Angelou, Maya

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Bantam

Removed from the seventh- and eighth-grade reading list at the Unity, N.H. Elementary School (1999) because the “book is too sexually explicit.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 69; July 1999, pp. 93-94.


Go Ask Alice

Avon; Prentice-Hall

Removed from the Aledo, Tex. Middle School library (1999) and restricted at the high school library to students with parental permission. A parent complained about the references to drug use, vulgar language, and descriptions of sex.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 1999, pp. 119-20.


Atwood, Margaret

The Handmaid’s Tale

Fawcett; Houghton; Simon; Hall

Challenged because of graphic sex, but retained on the advanced placement English list at Chamberlain High School in Tampa, Fla. (1999).

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 1999, p. 121; Nov. 1999, p. 173.

 


Bauer, Marion Dane, ed.

Am I Blue?: Coming out from the Silence

HarperCollins

Challenged at the Fairfield, Iowa Middle School and High School libraries (2000) because of a graphic description of a sexual act.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 62.

 


Bennett, James

Blue Star Rapture

Simon

Challenged, but retained on the Downers Grove, Ill. High School reading lists (1999) despite parents’ complaints that the book is “obscene” and “vulgar.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2000, p. 28.

 


Block, Francesca Lia

Baby Be-Bop

HarperCollins

Removed from the Barron, Wis. School District (1998) because of the book’s use of vulgar language and sexually explicit passages. The ACLU of Wisconsin filed suit against the school district on Feb. 16, 1999. The books were then returned to the library while a federal court considered the lawsuit. On October 8, 1999, it was agreed that the novel will remain available to students as part of the school district’s settlement of the federal lawsuit.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 1999, p. 9; Mar. 1999, p. 37; May 1999, p. 68; Jan. 2000, p. 28.


Blume, Judy

Blubber

Bradbury Pr.; Dell; Dutton

Banned at Clements High School in Athens, Ala. (1998) because of objections to the use of the word “damn” and “bitch” in the novel. The decision was later reversed. Removed from an elementary school in Arlington, Tex. (1999) because educators objected to “verbal, physical, and sexual abuse of student upon student.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 1999, p. 35; May 1999, p. 83; Jan. 2000, p. 8.


Blume, Judy

Forever

Bradbury Pr.

Banned from middle school libraries in the Elgin, Ill. School District U46 (1997) because of its sex scenes. The decision was upheld in June 1999 after an hour of emotional school board discussion.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1997, pp. 60-61; Sept. 1997, p. 125; Sept. 1999, p. 119.


Blume, Judy

Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson

Orchard

Challenged, but retained at the Granville School library in Catskill, N.Y. (1999) despite a parent's objection to three words.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 1999, p. 131.


Blume, Judy

Tiger Eyes

Bradbury Pr.

Pulled from the Many, La. Junior High library shelves (1999) because of descriptions of a girl’s sexual encounters, getting drunk at school, and the use of profanities.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2000, p. 11.


Bode, Janet, and Stan Mack

Heartbreak and Roses: Real Life Stories of Troubled Love

Delacorte

Pulled from the Ouachita Parish school library in Monroe, La. (1996) because of sexual content. The Louisiana chapter of the ACLU filed a lawsuit in the federal courts on October 3, 1996, claiming that the principal and the school superintendent violated First Amendment free speech rights and also failed to follow established procedure when they removed the book. The three-year-old school library censorship case headed to court after the Ouachita Parish School Board made no decision to seek a settlement at a special meeting April 12, 1999. On August 17, 1999, the Ouachita Parish School Board agreed to return the book to the library and to develop a new book-selection policy that follows state guidelines for school media programs.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 1996, pp. 151-52; Jan. 1997, p. 7; July 1999, p. 93; Jan. 2000, p. 27.


Bunch, Robert

Invisible Marijuana and Psychedelic Mushroom Gardens

Loompanics Unlimited

Challenged at the Warrenville, Ill. Public Library (2000) because “it provides a step-by-step manual for circumventing the law.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 48.

 


Carle, Eric

Draw Me a Star

Philomel Bks.

This children’s book dealing with the creation story was challenged, but retained in the Dorothy B. Bunce Elementary School library in Pavilion, N.Y. (1999) despite a parent’s objection to a collage picture of a naked man and woman representing Adam and Eve.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, pp. 83-84.


Clerc, Charles, and Louis Leiter, comp.

Seven Contemporary Short Novels

Scott, Foresman

Removed from the Baker City, Ohio High School language arts program (1999) because of two selections in the book. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, includes a description of a father raping his eleven-year-old daughter. Being There, by Jerzy Kosinski, includes descriptions of sexual relations.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 70.


Cohen, Daniel

Ghostly Warnings

Cobblehill Books

Challenged, but retained at the Hastings, Nebr. Public Library (1999) along with forty other books on the topics of witches, magic, the zodiac, fortune telling, and ghost stories (most of the Dewey Decimal category 133.47). The books were called “demonic” and unsuitable for young children.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 66; July 1999, p. 104.


Cohen, Daniel

Phantom Animals

Putnam

Challenged, but retained at the Hastings, Nebr. Public Library (1999) along with forty other books on the topics of witches, magic, the zodiac, fortune telling, and ghost stories (most of the Dewey Decimal category 133.47). The books were called “demonic” and unsuitable for young children.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 66; July 1999, p. 104.


Cohen, Susan, and Daniel Cohen

When Someone You Know is Gay

Evans

Removed from the Barron, Wis. School District (1998) because the 1992 data is outdated. The ACLU of Wisconsin filed suit against the school district on Feb. 16, 1999. The books were then returned to the library while a federal court considered the lawsuit. On October 8, 1999, it was agreed that the book will remain available to students as part of the school district’s settlement of the federal lawsuit.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 1999, p. 9; Mar. 1999, p. 37; May 1999, p. 68; Jan. 2000, p. 28.


Collier, James Lincoln, and Christopher Collier

My Brother Sam Is Dead

Scholastic

Challenged in the fifth-grade Oak Brook, Ill. Butler District 53 curriculum (2000) because of violence and inappropriate language.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 49.


Collier, James Lincoln, and Christopher Collier

With Every Drop of Blood

Delacorte

Challenged in the fifth-grade Oak Brook, Ill. Butler District 53 curriculum (2000) because the book contains racial slurs.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 49.

 


Conroy, Pat

The Lords of Discipline

Bantam

Banned, but later reinstated after community protests at the Windsor Forest High School in Savannah, Ga. (2000). The controversy began in early 1999 when a parent complained about sex, violence, and profanity in the book that was part of an advanced placement English class.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 63.


Cormier, Robert

The Chocolate War

Dell; Pantheon

Challenged on the required reading list for ninth graders at Colton, N.Y. schools (1999) due to references to masturbation, profanity, disrespect of women, and sexual innuendo. Challenged on the York County, Va. schools reading list and in classrooms (1999 and 2000) because the book contains profanity and violence. Challenged as part of the Silverheels Middle School’s supplemental reading material in South Park, Colo. (2000) because parents objected to sexually suggestive language in the book. Challenged at the Maple Heights, Ohio School (2000) because “the book teaches immorality.”

       Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 1999, p. 122; Jan. 2000, p. 16; Mar. 2000, pp. 49, 51-52.


Coupe, Peter

The Beginner's Guide to Drawing Cartoons

Arcturus Pub.

Removed from the Meadow Ridge Elementary School library in Spokane, Wash. (1999) after a mother complained that nude cartoon characters of Adam and Eve were a bad influence on children.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 68.

 


Crumb, R.

The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book

Little

Challenged at the Alexandrian Public Library in Mount Vernon, Ind. (1999).

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 1999, p. 171.

 


Crutcher, Chris

Athletic Shorts

Dell; Greenwillow; Thorndike Pr.

Pulled from the elementary school collections, but retained at the middle school libraries in Anchorage, Alaska (1999). A parent challenged the book of short stories because of the book’s lack of respect for parents and God, its treatment of homosexuality, and its bad language.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 65.


Dahl, Roald

James and the Giant Peach

ABC-CLIO; Knopf

Banned from an elementary school in Lufkin, Tex. (1999) because it contains the word “ass.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2000, p. 8.

 


DeMille, Nelson

The Charm School

Mass Market

Removed from the Waltham, Mass. High School summer reading list (1999) because of two sexually graphic passages.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2000, p. 14.

 


Deuker, Carl

On the Devil's Court

Joy Street Bks.

Challenged, but retained at the Virginia Run Elementary School in Centreville, Va. (1999) despite a parent’s claim that the book espouses “pro-Satanism.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 1999, pp. 172-73.

 


Dorris, Michael

A Yellow Raft in Blue Water

Holt; Thorndike Pr.; Warner

Challenged at the Pebblebrook High School in Marietta, Ga. (1999) because of the book’s profanity and explicit sexual language.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 66.

 


Doyle, Robert P.

Banned Books

American Library Association

Banned from a display at Spotswood High School in Harrisonburg, Va. (1999) after a parent determined that some materials listed in the publication were inappropriate for students. Students were not required to read or even look at the publication, nor were they required to read any of the books listed in the publication.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2000, p. 16; Mar. 2000, pp. 39, 45.


Elliot, David

An Alphabet for Rotten Kids

Philomel Bks.

Pulled from the Spokane, Wash. School District libraries (1999) after a parent complained its depictions of children hitting animals and destroying property gave her second-grader the wrong message.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 68.


Gaines, Ernest

A Lesson Before Dying

Knopf; Vintage

Banned, but later reinstated after community protests at the Windsor Forest High School in Savannah, Ga. (2000). The controversy began in early 1999 when a parent complained about sex, violence, and profanity in the book that was part of an advanced placement English class.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 63.


Glenn, Mel

Who Killed Mr. Chippendale?

Lodestar Bks.

Removed from the Central School library in Hunstville, Ala. (1999) as inappropriate for fourth graders. After the book’s removal, the complainant called for the formation of a group of parents to go through all the library’s books, as well as monitor new books. The school’s principal stated, “If a book is sexual, if it is racial, if it’s violent, we'll pull it off the shelves.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 93.


Golding, William

Lord of the Flies

Coward

Challenged, but retained on the ninth-grade accelerated English reading list in Bloomfield, N.Y. (2000). The board was still set to review Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger, and A Death in the Family, by James Agee.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 64.


Greene, Bette

The Drowning of Stephan Jones

Bantam

Removed from the Barron, Wis. School District (1998) because of the book’s homosexual theme. The ACLU of Wisconsin filed suit against the school district on Feb. 16, 1999. The books were then returned to the library while a federal court considered the lawsuit. On October 8, 1999, it was agreed that the book will remain available to students as part of the school district’s settlement of the federal lawsuit.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 1999, p. 9; Mar. 1999, p. 37; May 1999, p. 68; Jan. 2000, p. 28.


Groom, Winston

Forrest Gump

Doubleday; Pocket Bks.

Challenged at the Bay Point School in South Dade County, Fla. (1999) because the novel “pokes fun at blacks, makes numerous references to sex, and uses foul language inappropriate for tenth-graders.” First-year teacher Michael Weiss was fired over the incident and another instructor was placed on probation.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 95.


Guest, Judith

Ordinary People

Ballantine; Hall; Viking.

Removed, but later returned to the English classrooms and library shelves at the Fostoria, Ohio High School (1999) despite complaints about the novel’s obscene language and sexual innuendos.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 104.


Guterson, David

Snow Falling on Cedars

Harcourt; Thorndike Pr.; Vintage

Pulled from the Boerne, Tex. Independent High School library and barred from the curriculum (1999) after several parents and students complained about its racial epithets and sexually graphic passages. The book was later returned to the library.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 1999, p. 163; Jan. 2000, pp. 8, 12.


Harris, Robie H.

It’s Perfectly Normal: A Book about Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health

Candlewick Pr.

Challenged, but retained at the Auburn-Placer County, Calif. Library (1999) because of sexually explicit material.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 1999, p. 171.

 


Hawthorne, Nathaniel

The Scarlet Letter

Bantam; Dell; Dodd; Holt; Houghton; Modern Library; NAL; Norton

Challenged, but retained in the sophomore curriculum at West Middlesex, Pa. High School (1999).

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 105.

 


Hegi, Ursula

Stones from the River

Scribner; Simon

Banned, but later reinstated after community protests at the Windsor Forest High School in Savannah, Ga. (2000). The controversy began in early 1999 when a parent complained about sex, violence, and profanity in the book that was part of an advanced placement English class.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 63.


Heron, Ann

Two Teenagers in Twenty

Alyson Pubns.

Removed from the Barron, Wis. School District (1998) because of the book's homosexual theme and because it contains outdated information about AIDS. The ACLU of Wisconsin filed suit against the school district on Feb. 16, 1999. The book was then returned to the library while a federal court considered the lawsuit. On October 8, 1999, it was agreed that the book will remain available to students as part of the school district’s settlement of the federal lawsuit.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 1999, p. 9; Mar. 1999, p. 37; May 1999, p. 68; Jan. 2000, p. 28.


Hill, Douglas Arthur

Witches and Magic-Makers

Knopf

Challenged, but retained at the Hastings, Nebr. Public Library (1999) along with forty other books on the topics of witches, magic, the zodiac, fortune telling, and ghost stories (most of the Dewey Decimal category 133.47). The books were called “demonic” and unsuitable for young children.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 66; July 1999, p. 104.


Holliday, Laurel

Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries

Pocket Bks.

Limited to students in the seventh grade or higher at the Canal Winchester Middle School in Columbus, Ohio (1999) because of references to sex, a self-induced abortion, and drug use.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 94; Nov. 1999, pp. 171-72.


Jukes, Mavis

It’s a Girl Thing: How to Stay Healthy, Safe and in Charge

Knopf

Written parental permission is required to see the book at the Palm Beach, Fla. elementary and middle schools (1999) because of concerns that the book -- written for preteen girls -- is more explicit than some parents would find acceptable.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 66.


Klein, Norma

Beginners' Love

Hillside Bks.

Challenged, but retained in the Chester, S.C. High School library (1999) with the provision that parents can instruct the school not to let their own children borrow it. The book’s graphic description of sex, discussions of abortion, and the character’s use of marijuana were considered objectionable by some parents. South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon ruled that the school board could reasonably conclude that the novel was “pervasively vulgar” and “educationally unsuitable” and, thus, removal by the board would not violate the First Amendment.

       Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 1999, p. 36; May 1999, p. 84; Nov. 1999, p. 163.


Koontz, Dean R.

The Voice of the Night

Doubleday; Thorndike Pr.

Challenged as extra reading material at Westcott Junior High School in Westbrook, Maine (2000) because the novel describes people having sex and the mutilation of animals and people.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 50.


Lewis, Richard, comp.

There Are Two Lives: Poems by Children of Japan

Simon & Schuster

Despite being on the library’s open shelves for 25 years, this book is now restricted to students with parental permission at the Annville-Cleona, Pa. Elementary School library (1999) because an anonymous parent “objected to the entire book.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, pp. 66-67.


Lindgren, Astrid

The Runaway Sleigh Ride

Viking

Removed, but later returned to the Enfield, Conn. elementary school libraries (1999) despite a parent’s objection to passages in which characters sing songs praising drinking.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, pp. 65-66; July 1999, p. 104.


Lipsyte, Robert

One Fat Summer

Harper

Pulled from Rock Crusher Elementary School in Crystal River, Fla. (1999) after a parent complained that it contains derogatory terms for African-Americans, Jews, and Italians and describes a male character masturbating.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2000, p. 11.


Lowry, Lois

The Giver

Dell; Houghton

Challenged at the Troy Intermediate School in Avon Lake, Ohio (1999) as an “optional” reading choice for sixth-grade students. A pastor objected to the books “mature themes”--suicide, sexuality, and euthanasia. Challenged, but retained at a Lake Butler, Fla. public middle school (1999). A parent complained because the issues of infanticide and sexual awakening are discussed in the book.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 70; Jan. 2000, p. 13.


Lynch, Chris

The Iceman

Harper

Removed from the Medford, Wis. Middle School library (1999) because of foul language and the opinion that it was not "inspiring."

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 69.

 


Mathabane, Mark

Kaffir Boy

NAL

Removed from a Federal Hocking High School English class in Athens, Ohio (1999) because it contains a sexually graphic passage that some have deemed offensive. Kearsley, Mich. school officials (2000) deleted six sentences describing a homosexual molestation scene in the book after some parents found it offensive.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 70; Mar. 2000, p. 50.


Mazer, Harry

The Last Mission

Dell

Challenged, but retained at the Auburn-Placer County, Calif. Library (1999) because of sexually explicit material.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 1999, p. 171.


McMillan, Rosalyn

Knowing

Warner

Challenged, but retained at the Cumberland County Library in Fayetteville, N.C. (1999) despite a complaint that the book contains profanity. In addition, the complainant suggested that the library move sexually explicit materials, as well as ones about homosexuality, into an adult section and establish a review committee to screen materials.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 94; Jan. 2000, pp. 27-28.


Miller, Arthur

The Crucible

Penguin

Challenged, but retained in the sophomore curriculum at West Middlesex, Pa. High School (1999).

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 105.


Moe, Barbara A.

Everything You Need to Know About Sexual Abstinence

Rosen

Pulled from the Ouachita Parish School library in Monroe, La. (1996) because of sexual content. The Louisiana chapter of the ACLU filed a lawsuit in the federal courts on October 3, 1996, claiming that the principal and the school superintendent violated First Amendment free speech rights and also failed to follow established procedure when they removed the book. The three-year-old school library censorship case headed to court after the Ouachita Parish School Board made no decision to seek a settlement at a special meeting April 12, 1999. On August 17, 1999, the Ouachita Parish School Board agreed to return the book to the library and to develop a new book-selection policy that follows state guidelines for school media programs.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 1996, pp. 151-52; Jan. 1997, p. 7; July 1999, p. 93; Jan. 2000, p. 27.


Morrison, Toni

The Bluest Eye

NAL

Removed from the reading list for ninth- and tenth-graders at Stevens High School in Claremont, N.H. (1999) because of a parent’s complaint about the book’s sexual content.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 1999, pp. 121-22.


Myers, Walter Dean

Fallen Angels

Scholastic

Removed from the Laton, Calif. Unified School District (1999) because the novel about the Vietnam War contains violence and profanity. Removed as required reading in the Livonia, Mich. public schools (1999) because it contains “too many swear words.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 1999, pp. 120-21; Nov. 1999, pp. 164-65.


Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds

The Agony of Alice

Atheneum

Challenged, but retained at the Franklin Sherman Elementary School library and on the Fairfax County, Va. approved reading list (2000). The book, however, is limited in its classroom use to small discussion groups for girls only.  

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 62.


Newman, Leslea

Heather Has Two Mommies

Alyson Pubns.

Challenged at the Wichita Falls, Tex. Public Library (1998). The deacon body of the First Baptist Church requested that any literature that promotes or sanctions a homosexual lifestyle be removed. The Wichita Falls City Council established a policy that allows library card holders who collect 300 signatures to have children’s books moved to an adult portion of the library. U.S. District Court Judge Jerry Buchmeyer ordered attorneys to agree to a restraining order, which put the books back. Challenged, but retained in the juvenile non-fiction section of the Nampa, Idaho Public Library (1999).

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1998, pp. 106-07; Jan. 1999, pp. 8-9; Mar. 1999, p. 36; May 1999, p. 67; Sept. 1999, p. 131; Nov. 1999, p. 172.


Nichols, John

The Milagro Beanfield War

Holt

Pulled from a junior English class at the Shawnee High School in Lima, Ohio (1999) because it contained offensive material, including sex and violence.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 97.


Orgel, Doris

The Devil in Vienna

Dial; Puffin

Challenged, but retained at the Grant Wood Elementary School media center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (2000) despite objections to the book's inclusion of a brief incident of an old man exposing himself to a six-year-old girl.  

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 61.


Pike, Christopher

Die Softly

Archway

Removed from Escondido, Calif. middle school libraries (1999) along with 24 other novels by the best-selling author. Passages deemed offensive made references to whiskey drinking, bribery, sex, and a nightmare about dismemberment.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1998, p. 104; Nov. 1999, p. 161.


Pilkey, Dav

Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds)

Blue Sky Press

Challenged, but retained at the Orfordville, Wis. Elementary School library (2000). A parent charged that the book taught students to be disrespectful, not to obey authority, not to obey the law, including God’s law, improper spelling, to make excuses and lie to escape responsibility, to make fun of what people wear, and poor nutrition.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 62.


Quinlan, Patricia

Tiger Flowers

Dial

Challenged, but retained on the library shelves of a Dallas-Fort Worth-area elementary school (1999). The children’s book is about a boy whose uncle dies from AIDS.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 1999, p. 172.


Ray, Ronald D.

Gays in or out of the Military

Brassey’s

Pulled from the Ouachita Parish School library in Monroe, La. (1996) because of sexual content. The Louisiana chapter of the ACLU filed a lawsuit in the federal courts on October 3, 1996, claiming that the principal and the school superintendent violated First Amendment free speech rights and also failed to follow established procedure when they removed the book. The three-year-old school library censorship case headed to court after the Ouachita Parish School Board made no decision to seek a settlement at a special meeting April 12, 1999. On August 17, 1999, the Ouachita Parish School Board agreed to return the book to the library and to develop a new book-selection policy that follows state guidelines for school media programs.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 1996, pp. 151-52; Jan. 1997, p. 7; July 1999, p. 93; Jan. 2000, p. 27.


Reavin, Sam

The Hunters Are Coming

Putnam

Challenged at the Cousens Memorial School library in Lyman, Maine (1999) because the book portrays hunters in a negative light.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1999, p. 83.


Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Scholastic

Challenged in South Carolina schools (1999) because “the book has a serious tone of death, hate, lack of respect, and sheer evil.” Parents have also objected to the book’s use in the Douglas County, Colo. schools (1999); two Moorpark, Calif. elementary schools (1999); and in suburban Buffalo, N.Y. (1999), among other districts. Restricted to fifth- through eighth-graders who have written parental permission in the Zeeland, Mich. schools (2000). No future installments can be purchased and teachers are prohibited from reading the books aloud in class. The book was considered objectionable because of the intense story line, the violence, the wizardry, and the sucking of animal blood. Challenged, but retained in Frankfort, Ill. School District 157-C (2000). Parents were concerned that the book contains lying and smart-aleck retorts to adults.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2000, pp. 1, 26; Mar. 2000, pp. 46, 48, 50, 63.


Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Scholastic

Challenged in South Carolina schools (1999) because “the book has a serious tone of death, hate, lack of respect, and sheer evil.” Parents have also objected to the book’s use in the Douglas County, Colo. schools (1999); two Moorpark, Calif. elementary schools (1999); and in suburban Buffalo, N.Y. (1999), among other districts. Restricted to fifth- through eighth-graders who have written parental permission in the Zeeland, Mich. schools (2000). No future installments can be purchased and teachers are prohibited from reading the books aloud in class. The book was considered objectionable because of the intense story line, the violence, the wizardry, and the sucking of animal blood. Challenged, but retained in Frankfort, Ill. School District 157-C (2000). Parents were concerned that the book contains lying and smart-aleck retorts to adults.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2000, pp. 1, 26; Mar. 2000, pp. 46, 48, 50, 63.


Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Scholastic

Challenged in South Carolina schools (1999) because “the book has a serious tone of death, hate, lack of respect, and sheer evil.” Parents have also objected to the book’s use in the Douglas County, Colo. schools (1999); two Moorpark, Calif. elementary schools (1999); and in suburban Buffalo, N.Y. (1999), among other districts. Restricted to fifth- through eighth-graders who have written parental permission in the Zeeland, Mich. schools (2000). No future installments can be purchased and teachers are prohibited from reading the books aloud in class. The book was considered objectionable because of the intense story line, the violence, the wizardry, and the sucking of animal blood. Removed from the Bridgeport Township, Mich. public school (2000) because it promotes witchcraft. Challenged, but retained in the Simi Valley, Calif. School District (2000). A parent complained that the book was violent, anti-family, had a religious theme, and lacked educational value. Challenged, but retained in Frankfort, Ill. School District 157-C (2000). Parents were concerned that the book contains lying and smart-aleck retorts to adults.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2000, pp. 1, 26; Mar. 2000, pp. 46, 48, 50, 63.


Sachar, Louis

Marvin Redpost: Is He a Girl?

Random

Challenged in Chapman Elementary School libraries in Huntsville, Ala. (2000) because it contains a fantasy about kissing your elbow and changing sexes.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 47.

 


Schwartz, Alvin

Ghosts! Ghost Stories in Folklore

HarperCollins

Challenged, but retained in the Campbell County, Wyo. School District (1998) despite claims that “the book misleads the reader--that ghosts are actually possible. . . This book blurs the line between fantasy and reality for younger children.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 1999, p. 38; May 1999, p. 84.


Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isayevich

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Dutton; Farrar; NAL

Retained at the Storm Lake, Iowa High School (1999) despite objections to the novel's profanity.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 105.


Spies, Karen Bornemann

Everything You Need to Know About Incest

Rosen

Pulled from the Ouachita Parish School library in Monroe, La. (1996) because of sexual content. The Louisiana chapter of the ACLU filed a lawsuit in the federal courts on October 3, 1996, claiming that the principal and the school superintendent violated First Amendment free speech rights and also failed to follow established procedure when they removed the book. The three-year-old school library censorship case headed to court after the Ouachita Parish School Board made no decision to seek a settlement at a special meeting April 12, 1999. On August 17, 1999, the Ouachita Parish School Board agreed to return the book to the library and to develop a new book-selection policy that follows state guidelines for school media programs.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 1996, pp. 151-52; Jan. 1997, p. 7; July 1999, p. 93; Jan. 2000, p. 27.


Steinbeck, John

Of Mice and Men

Bantam; Penguin; Viking

Challenged, but retained in the sophomore curriculum at West Middlesex, Pa. High School (1999) despite objections to the novel's profanity. Challenged in the Tomah, Wis. School District (1999) because the novel is violent and contains obscenities.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 105; Jan. 2000, p. 16; Mar. 2000, p. 52.


Stoppard, Miriam

The Magic of Sex

Newspaper Guild

Challenged, but retained at the Auburn-Placer County, Calif. Library (1999) because of sexually explicit material.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 1999, p. 171.

 


Taylor, Mildred D.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Bantam; Dell

Challenged in Chapman Elementary School libraries in Huntsville, Ala. (2000) because it uses racial slurs in dialogue to make points about racism.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2000, p. 47.


Twain, Mark [Samuel L. Clemens]

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Bantam; Bobbs-Merrill; Grosset; Harper; Holt; Houghton; Longman; Macmillan; NAL; Norton; Penguin; Pocket Bks.

Recommended for removal from the Fairbanks, Alaska North Star Borough School District’s required reading lists (1999) because of its frequent use of the word “nigger.” Challenged, but retained in the Enid, Okla. schools (2000). The novel was previously removed from the curriculum in Enid in 1977 after similar protests. It was returned to the required reading list in 1991.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, pp. 94-95; Mar. 2000, p. 52.


Walker, Alice

The Color Purple

Harcourt

Challenged, but retained as part of a supplemental reading list at the Shawnee School in Lima, Ohio (1999). Several parents described its content as vulgar and “X-rated.” Removed from the Ferguson High School library in Newport News, Va. (1999). Students may request and borrow the book with parental approval.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 1999, pp. 131-32; Nov. 1999, p. 163.


Welch, James

Fools Crow

Doubleday; Viking; Penguin

Banned from Laurel, Mont. High School classrooms (1999) because the contents are “objectionable, inappropriate, disgusting, and repulsive.” Two copies remain in the library. Challenged, but retained at the Bozeman, Mont. High School (2000) despite objections to its descriptions of rape, mutilation, sex, and violence.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 96; Mar. 2000, p. 51.


Willhoite, Michael

Daddy’s Roommate

Alyson Pubns.

Challenged at the Wichita Falls, Tex. Public Library (1998). The deacon body of the First Baptist Church requested that any literature that promotes or sanctions a homosexual lifestyle be removed. The Wichita Falls City Council established a policy that allows library card holders who collect 300 signatures to have children’s books moved to an adult portion of the library. U.S. District Court Judge Jerry Buchmeyer ordered attorneys to agree to a restraining order, which put the books back. Challenged, but retained in the juvenile non-fiction section of the Nampa, Idaho Public Library (1999). Challenged, but retained at the Ada, Idaho Community Library (2000).

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1998, pp. 105-07; Jan. 1999, pp. 8-9; Mar. 1999, p. 36; May 1999, p. 67; Sept. 1999, p. 131; Nov. 1999, p. 172; Mar. 2000, pp. 44, 61.


Yep, Laurence

Dragonwings

Harper

Challenged at the Henryville, Ind. schools (1999) because of graphic violence, profanity, references to demons and prostitution, and alcohol and drug use depicted in a positive light.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 1999, p. 164.


Zacks, Richard

History Laid Bare

HarperCollins.

Challenged, but retained at the Cumberland County Library in Fayetteville, N.C. (1999) despite a complaint that the book deals with sexual history and customs. In addition, the complainant suggested that the library move sexually explicit materials, as well as ones about homosexuality, into an adult section and establish a review committee to screen materials.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 94; Jan. 2000, pp. 27-28.


Zacks, Richard

An Underground Education

Doubleday

Challenged, but retained at the Cumberland County Library in Fayetteville, N.C. (1999) despite a complaint that the book deals with sexual history and customs. In addition, the complainant suggested that the library move sexually explicit materials, as well as ones about homosexuality, into an adult section and establish a review committee to screen materials.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 1999, p. 94; Jan. 2000, pp. 27-28.

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