Books Challenged or Banned in 2001–2002, by Robert P. Doyle

This bibliography represents books challenged, restricted, removed, or banned in 2001–2002 as reported in the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom from May 2001 through March 2002.

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Atwood, Margaret

The Handmaid’s Tale

Fawcett; Houghton; Simon; Hall

Challenged, but retained in the Dripping Springs, Tex. senior Advanced Placement English courses (2001) as an optional reading assignment. Some parents were offended by the book’s descriptions of sexual encounters.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2001, p. 174.


The Bible

Challenged, but retained in the Marion-Levy Public Library System (2001) in Ocala, Fla.

Source: May 2001, p. 123.

 




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. The book was returned (2002) to the shelves of the district’s middle school libraries.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1997, pp. 60-61; Sept. 1997, p. 125; Sept. 1999, p. 119; Mar. 2002, p. 105.


Cormier, Robert

The Chocolate War

Dell; Pantheon

Challenged, but retained at the Dunedin Highland Middle School in St. Petersburg, Fla. (2001) despite objections to profanity, scenes about masturbation and sexual fantasy, and segments of the book that were considered denigrating to girls.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2002, pp. 49-50.

 



Cormier, Robert

We All Fall Down

Dell

Restricted in Arlington, Tex. middle and high schools (2000) to students who have written parental permission, due to concerns over violent content. Removed from the Carver Middle School library in Leesburg, Fla. (2000) after parents complained about the book’s content and language. Challenged in the Tamaqua, Pa. Area School District (2001) because the book “might not be appropriate for younger schoolmates.” The school board is considering the establishment of a restricted-materials section in the district’s middle-school library for books deemed objectionable. Students would need parental permission to access any title placed there.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2000, p. 75; July 2000, p. 103; Mar. 2001, p. 54; July 2001, p. 145.


Drill, Esther

Deal with It! A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain, and Life As a Gurl

Pocket Bks.

Challenged, but retained at the Marion-Levy Public Library System in Ocala, Fla. (2001).

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2001, p. 246.


Escoffier, Jeffrey

John Maynard Keynes

Chelsea House Pubs.

Removed from the Anaheim, Calif. school district (2000) because school officials said the book is too difficult for middle school students and that it could cause harassment against students seen with it. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California filed suit in Doe v. Anaheim Union High School District alleging that the removal is “a pretext for viewpoint-based censorship.” The ACLU claims no other books have been removed from the junior high library for similar reasons, even though several, such as works by Shakespeare and Dickens, are more difficult reading. The ACLU contends that the school officials engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by removing the book because it contains gay and lesbian material. In March 2001, the school board approved a settlement that restored the book to the high school shelves and amended the district’s policy to prohibit the removal of books for subject matter involving sexual orientation, but the book will not be returned to the middle school.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 53; May 2001, p. 95; July 2001, p. 173.


Evans, Tabor

Longarm in Virginia City

Jove

Challenged, but retained at the Springdale, Ark. Public Library (2001) along with all other “western” novels because the writings include “pornographic, sexual encounters.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2001, p. 277.


Harris, Robie H.

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

Candlewick Pr.

Restricted to elementary school pupils with parental permission at the Anchorage, Alaska elementary and middle schools (2001) due to objections to the book’s “value statements” and because “marriage is mentioned once in the whole book, while homosexual relationships are allocated an entire section.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2001, pp. 247, 278; Jan. 2002, p. 13.


Keefer, Edward C., ed.

Foreign Relations of the United States 1964-68, Volume XXVI, Indonesia, Malaysia-Singapore, Philippines

U.S. State Department

The U.S. government recalled all copies of this U.S. State Department history book from hundreds of libraries in the U.S. and abroad (2001) because it details the U.S. role in Indonesia’s deadly purge of communists in the 1960s. The prestigious series, which began in 1861, is often embattled. For example, the history dealing with Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey was printed in February 2000, but is locked up at the Government Printing Office under the label: “Embargo: This publication cannot be released.” Officials declined to say why.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2001, pp. 245-46.


Kenan, Randall

James Baldwin

Chelsea House Pubs.

Removed from the Anaheim, Calif. school district (2000) because school officials said the book is too difficult for middle school students and that it could cause harassment against students seen with it. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California filed suit in Doe v. Anaheim Union High School District alleging that the removal is “a pretext for viewpoint-based censorship.” The ACLU claims no other books have been removed from the junior high library for similar reasons, even though several, such as works by Shakespeare and Dickens, are more difficult reading. The ACLU contends that the school officials engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by removing the book because it contains gay and lesbian material. In March 2001, the school board approved a settlement that restored the book to the high school shelves and amended the district’s policy to prohibit the removal of books for subject matter involving sexual orientation, but the book will not be returned to the middle school.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 53; May 2001, p. 95; July 2001, p. 173.


King, Stephen

Different Seasons

Doubleday

Accessible to West Hernando Middle School library students in Brooksville, Fla. (2001) only if they have a signed and verified permission slip from their parents. A student was offended by references to oral sex and prison rape scenes in the short story “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” the basis for the 1994 movie The Shawshank Redemption.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2002, p. 15.


Klause, Annette Curtis

Blood and Chocolate

Delacorte

Temporarily pulled from the LaPorte, Tex. Independent School District school library shelves (2001) until the district can review and possibly amend its selection policies.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2001, p. 247.

 




Lee, Harper

To Kill a Mockingbird

Lippincott/Harper; Popular Library

Challenged by a Glynn County, Ga. (2001) school board member because of profanity. The novel was retained. Returned to the freshmen reading list at Muskogee, Okla. High School (2001) despite complaints over the years from black students and parents about racial slurs in the text.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2001, pp. 277-78; Jan. 2002, p. 50.


Letts, Billie

Where the Heart Is

G. K. Hall; Warner

Challenged in the Tamaqua, Pa. Area School District (2001) because the book “might not be appropriate for younger schoolmates.” The school board is considering the establishment of a restricted-materials section in the district’s middle-school library for books deemed objectionable. Students would need parental permission to access any title placed there.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 54; July 2001, p. 145.


Llywelyn, Morgan

Druids

Morrow

Removed from middle school libraries in Fairfax County, Va. (2001) due to its depictions of oral sex and rape.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2000, pp. 145-46; May 2001, p. 96.


Logan, Jake

Slocum Series

Berkley

Challenged, but retained at the Springdale, Ark. Public Library (2001) along with all other “western” novels because the writings include “pornographic, sexual encounters.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2001, p. 277.


Mackler, Carolyn

Love and Other Four Letter Words

Delacorte

Removed from the Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville, Ill. (2001) because in addition to swear words and discussions about “getting wasted,” the book contains graphic passages about masturbation and sexual intercourse.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2002, pp. 15-16.




Martin, W. K.

Marlene Dietrich

Chelsea House Pubs.

Removed from the Anaheim, Calif. school district (2000) because school officials said the book is too difficult for middle school students and that it could cause harassment against students seen with it. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California filed suit in Doe v. Anaheim Union High School District alleging that the removal is “a pretext for viewpoint-based censorship.” The ACLU claims no other books have been removed from the junior high library for similar reasons, even though several, such as works by Shakespeare and Dickens, are more difficult reading. The ACLU contends that the school officials engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by removing the book because it contains gay and lesbian material. In March 2001, the school board approved a settlement that restored the book to the high school shelves and amended the district’s policy to prohibit the removal of books for subject matter involving sexual orientation, but the book will not be returned to the middle school.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 53; May 2001, p. 95; July 2001, p. 173.

 

Martinac, Paula

k. d. lang

Chelsea House Pubs.

Removed from the Anaheim, Calif. school district (2000) because school officials said the book is too difficult for middle school students and that it could cause harassment against students seen with it. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California filed suit in Doe v. Anaheim Union High School District alleging that the removal is “a pretext for viewpoint-based censorship.” The ACLU claims no other books have been removed from the junior high library for similar reasons, even though several, such as works by Shakespeare and Dickens, are more difficult reading. The ACLU contends that the school officials engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by removing the book because it contains gay and lesbian material. In March 2001, the school board approved a settlement that restored the book to the high school shelves and amended the district’s policy to prohibit the removal of books for subject matter involving sexual orientation, but the book will not be returned to the middle school.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 53; May 2001, p. 95; July 2001, p. 173.


McCullers, Carson

Member of the Wedding

Houghton

Challenged in the Tamaqua, Pa. Area School District (2001) because the book “might not be appropriate for younger schoolmates.” The school board is considering the establishment of a restricted-materials section in the district’s middle-school library for books deemed objectionable. Students would need parental permission to access any title placed there.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 54; July 2001, p. 145.


Mungo, Raymond

Liberace

Chelsea House Pubs.

Removed from the Anaheim, Calif. school district (2000) because school officials said the book is too difficult for middle school students and that it could cause harassment against students seen with it. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California filed suit in Doe v. Anaheim Union High School District alleging that the removal is “a pretext for viewpoint-based censorship.” The ACLU claims no other books have been removed from the junior high library for similar reasons, even though several, such as works by Shakespeare and Dickens, are more difficult reading. The ACLU contends that the school officials engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by removing the book because it contains gay and lesbian material. In March 2001, the school board approved a settlement that restored the book to the high school shelves and amended the district’s policy to prohibit the removal of books for subject matter involving sexual orientation, but the book will not be returned to the middle school.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 53; May 2001, p. 95; July 2001, p. 173.


Nix, Garth

Shade's Children

HarperCollins

Challenged, but retained at the Transit Middle School library in Williamsville, N. Y. (2001) after objections that the book “is vulgar, obscene, and educationally unsuitable.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2001, p. 124.


Nunokawa, Jeff

Oscar Wilde

Chelsea House Pubs.

Removed from the Anaheim, Calif. school district (2000) because school officials said the book is too difficult for middle school students and that it could cause harassment against students seen with it. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California filed suit in Doe v. Anaheim Union High School District alleging that the removal is “a pretext for viewpoint-based censorship.” The ACLU claims no other books have been removed from the junior high library for similar reasons, even though several, such as works by Shakespeare and Dickens, are more difficult reading. The ACLU contends that the school officials engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by removing the book because it contains gay and lesbian material. In March 2001, the school board approved a settlement that restored the book to the high school shelves and amended the district’s policy to prohibit the removal of books for subject matter involving sexual orientation, but the book will not be returned to the middle school.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 53; May 2001, p. 95; July 2001, p. 173.


O’Brien, Sharon

Willa Cather

Chelsea House Pubs.

Removed from the Anaheim, Calif. school district (2000) because school officials said the book is too difficult for middle school students and that it could cause harassment against students seen with it. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California filed suit in Doe v. Anaheim Union High School District alleging that the removal is “a pretext for viewpoint-based censorship.” The ACLU claims no other books have been removed from the junior high library for similar reasons, even though several, such as works by Shakespeare and Dickens, are more difficult reading. The ACLU contends that the school officials engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by removing the book because it contains gay and lesbian material. In March 2001, the school board approved a settlement that restored the book to the high school shelves and amended the district’s policy to prohibit the removal of books for subject matter involving sexual orientation, but the book will not be returned to the middle school.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 53; May 2001, p. 95; July 2001, p. 173.


Rodgers, Mary

Freaky Friday

Harper; ABC-CLIO

Pulled, but later returned to the library shelves of Hernando County, Fla. schools (2001) after a parent’s complaint about the book’s references to drinking and smoking, characters who take God’s name in vain, and the claim that it advocates violence.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 53; May 2001, p. 123.


Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Scholastic

Challenged in the Owen J. Roberts School District classrooms in Bucktown, Pa. (2001) because the “books are telling children over and over again that lying, cheating, and stealing are not only acceptable, but that they’re cool and cute.” Burned in Alamagordo, N. Mex. (2001) outside Christ Community Church because the Potter series is “a masterpiece of satanic deception.” Challenged, but retained in the Duval County, Fla. school libraries (2001) despite a complaint about witchcraft depicted in the book.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2001, p. 146; Jan. 2002, p. 49; Mar. 2002, p. 61.


Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Scholastic

Challenged in the Owen J. Roberts School District classrooms in Bucktown, Pa. (2001) because the “books are telling children over and over again that lying, cheating, and stealing are not only acceptable, but that they’re cool and cute.” Burned in Alamagordo, N. Mex. (2001) outside Christ Community Church because the Potter series is “a masterpiece of satanic deception.” Challenged, but retained in the Duval County, Fla. school libraries (2001) despite a complaint about witchcraft depicted in the book.

       Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2001, p. 146; Jan. 2002, p. 49; Mar. 2002, p. 61.


Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Scholastic

Challenged in the Owen J. Roberts School District classrooms in Bucktown, Pa. (2001) because the “books are telling children over and over again that lying, cheating, and stealing are not only acceptable, but that they’re cool and cute.”   Burned in Alamagordo, N. Mex. (2001) outside Christ Community Church because the Potter series is “a masterpiece of satanic deception.” Challenged, but retained in the Duval County, Fla. school libraries (2001) despite a complaint about witchcraft depicted in the book.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2001, p. 146; Jan. 2002, p. 49; Mar. 2002, p. 61.


Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Scholastic

Challenged in the Owen J. Roberts School District classrooms in Bucktown, Pa. (2001) because the “books are telling children over and over again that lying, cheating, and stealing are not only acceptable, but that they’re cool and cute.” Burned in Alamagordo, N. Mex. (2001) outside Christ Community Church because the Potter series is “a masterpiece of satanic deception.” Challenged, but retained in the Duval County, Fla. school libraries (2001) despite a complaint about witchcraft depicted in the book.

       Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2001, p. 146; Jan. 2002, p. 49; Mar. 2002, p. 61.


Salinger, J. D.

Catcher in the Rye

Bantam; Little

Removed by a Dorchester District 2 school board member in Summerville, S.C. (2001) because it “is a filthy, filthy book.” Challenged by a Glynn County, Ga. (2001) school board member because of profanity. The novel was retained.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2001, pp. 246-47; 277-78.


Sharpe, Jon

Trailsman Series

NAL; Penguin

Challenged, but retained at the Springdale, Ark. Public Library (2001) along with all other “western” novels because the writings include “pornographic, sexual encounters.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2001, p. 277.


Snyder, Jane McIntosh

Sappho

Chelsea House Pubs.

Removed from the Anaheim, Calif. school district (2000) because school officials said the book is too difficult for middle school students and that it could cause harassment against students seen with it. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California filed suit in Doe v. Anaheim Union High School District alleging that the removal is “a pretext for viewpoint-based censorship.” The ACLU claims no other books have been removed from the junior high library for similar reasons, even though several, such as works by Shakespeare and Dickens, are more difficult reading. The ACLU contends that the school officials engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by removing the book because it contains gay and lesbian material. In March 2001, the school board approved a settlement that restored the book to the high school shelves and amended the district’s policy to prohibit the removal of books for subject matter involving sexual orientation, but the book will not be returned to the middle school.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 53; May 2001, p. 95; July 2001, p. 173.


Starhawk and Hilary Valentine

The Twelve Wild Swans: A Journey to the Realm of Magic, Healing, and Action: Rituals, Exercises and Magical Training in the Reclaiming Tradition

Harper

Challenged, but retained at the Springdale, Ark. Public Library (2001) despite a complaint that the book is a “witchcraft manual” and “turns people away from God and Bible scriptures.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2001, p. 277.


Styron, William

Sophie’s Choice

Bantam; Random

Returned to La Mirada, Calif. High School library (2002) after a complaint about its sexual content prompted the school to pull the award-winning novel about a tormented Holocaust survivor.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2002, p. 105.


Taylor, Mildred D.

Mississippi Bridge

Dial

Challenged, but retained at the Donahoe Elementary School library in Sandston, Va. (2001) despite objections of its “negative content and [that] it’s riddled with prejudice.” The novel by the Newbery Medal-winning author tells the story of a young black man who tries to save white passengers in a bus accident, despite being ordered earlier to give up his seat to “white folks.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2001, p. 97; July 2001, p. 174.


Tolkien, J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel)

Lord of the Rings

Ballantine; Houghton

Burned in Alamagordo, N. Mex. (2001) outside Christ Community Church along with other Tolkien novels as satanic.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2002, p. 61.


Wolfe, Daniel

T. E. Lawrence

Chelsea House Pubs.

Removed from the Anaheim, Calif. school district (2000) because school officials said the book is too difficult for middle school students and that it could cause harassment against students seen with it. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California filed suit in Doe v. Anaheim Union High School District alleging that the removal is “a pretext for viewpoint-based censorship.” The ACLU claims no other books have been removed from the junior high library for similar reasons, even though several, such as works by Shakespeare and Dickens, are more difficult reading. The ACLU contends that the school officials engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by removing the book because it contains gay and lesbian material. In March 2001, the school board approved a settlement that restored the book to the high school shelves and amended the district’s policy to prohibit the removal of books for subject matter involving sexual orientation, but the book will not be returned to the middle school.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 53; May 2001, p. 95; July 2001, p. 173.


Zwerman, Gilda

Martina Navratilova

Chelsea House Pubs.

Removed from the Anaheim, Calif. school district (2000) because school officials said the book is too difficult for middle school students and that it could cause harassment against students seen with it. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California filed suit in Doe v. Anaheim Union High School District alleging that the removal is “a pretext for viewpoint-based censorship.” The ACLU claims no other books have been removed from the junior high library for similar reasons, even though several, such as works by Shakespeare and Dickens, are more difficult reading. The ACLU contends that the school officials engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by removing the book because it contains gay and lesbian material. In March 2001, the school board approved a settlement that restored the book to the high school shelves and amended the district’s policy to prohibit the removal of books for subject matter involving sexual orientation, but the book will not be returned to the middle school.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2001, p. 53; May 2001, p. 95; July 2001, p. 173.

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