Books Challenged or Banned in 2002-2003, by Robert P. Doyle

This bibliography represents books challenged, restricted, removed, or banned in 2002—2003 as reported in the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom from May 2002 through May 2003.

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Alvarez, Julia

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

Plume

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Angelou, Maya

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Bantam

Challenged as required reading for Hamilton, Mont. freshman English classes (2002). At issue are scenes in which the author explores her sexuality through intercourse as a teenager and the depiction of a rape and molestation of an 8-year-old girl; homosexuality is another theme explored in the book that has drawn criticism. Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

       Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2002, p. 258; Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Block, Francesca Lia

Girl Goddess

HarperCollins

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Block, Francesca Lia

I Was a Teenage Fairy

HarperCollins

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Block, Francesca Lia

The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold

HarperCollins

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Block, Francesca Lia

Witch Baby

HarperCollins

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.” On March 10, 2003, the school board determined the book is suitable for elementary- and middle-school collections and placed a young-adult sticker on its spine.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10; May 2003, p. 117.


Blume, Judy

Forever

Bradbury Pr.

Banned from middle school libraries in the Elgin, Ill. School District U46 (1997) because of sex scenes. The decision was upheld in June 1999 after an hour of emotional school board discussion. After a four-year absence, 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; May 2002, pp. 135-36.


Chbosky, Stephen

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Pocket Bks.

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Clavell, James

Shogun

Delacorte

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Cohen, Daniel

The World’s Most Famous Ghosts

Putnam

Proposed for removal, along with more than fifty other books, from the high school library in Russell Springs, Ky. (2002) by a teachers’ prayer group.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2002, p. 116.


Cormier, Robert

The Chocolate War

Dell; Pantheon

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Cormier, Robert

Heroes

Delacorte

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Cormier, Robert

Tenderness

Delacorte

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Cunningham, Antonia, ed.

Guiness Book of World Records

Bantam

Retained in the Waukesha, Wis. elementary schools (2002) despite a challenge that the book was sexually explicit.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2002, p. 136.


Curtis, Christopher Paul

The Watsons Go To Birmingham--1963

Bantam

Challenged in the Stafford County, Va. middle schools (2002) because a parent was offended by some language. The book is a 1996 Newbery Honor winner and the same year was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2002, pp. 154-55.


Davis, Lindsey

Silver Pigs

Crown

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Franco, Betsy, ed.

You Hear Me?: Poems and Writings by Teenage Boys

Candlewick Pr.

Challenged in the Houston County, Ga. public schools (2002) by a parent concerned about the book’s language and topics.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2002, pp. 195-96.

 


Harris, Robie H.

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

Candlewick Pr.

Challenged, but retained in the Montgomery County, Tex. library system (2002) after a conservative Christian group, the Republican Leadership Council, characterized the book as “vulgar” and trying “to minimize or even negate that homosexuality is a problem.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2002, pp. 256-57; Jan. 2003, p. 33.


Hurwin, Davida

Time for Dancing

Puffin

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Kincaid, James Russell

Erotic Innocence: The Culture of Child Molesting

Duke Univ. Pr.

Challenged, but retained in the Montgomery County, Tex. library system (2002) after a conservative Christian group, the Republican Leadership Council, characterized the book as “helping to lay the groundwork for a culture of child molesters and homosexuals.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 33.


Letts, Billie

Where the Heart Is

G. K. Hall; Warner

Retained in the Natrona County, Wyo. School District (2002) after being challenged for graphic violence, obscene language, and drug use.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2002, p. 223.

 


Locker, Sari

Sari Says: The Real Dirt on Everything from Sex to School

Harper

Removed from the shelves at the James Kennedy Public Library in Dyersville, Iowa (2002) because it deals with sexual issues.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2002, p. 196; Nov. 2002, pp. 255-56.


Lopez, Tiffany Ana

Growing Up Chicano

Morrow

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Mah, Adeline Yen

A Thousand Pieces of Gold: My Discovery of China's Character in the History and Meaning of its Proverb

Harper

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Myers, Walter Dean

Fallen Angels

Scholastic

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.” Banned from the George County, Miss. schools (2002) because of profanity.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10; Mar. 2003, p. 55.


Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds

Achingly Alice

Atheneum

Banned from the Webb City, Mo. school library (2002) because the book promotes homosexuality and discusses issues “best left to parents.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2002, p. 256.


Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds

Alice in Lace

Atheneum

Banned from the Webb City, Mo. school library (2002) because the book promotes homosexuality and discusses issues “best left to parents.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2002, p. 256.


Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds

The Grooming of Alice

Atheneum

Banned from the Webb City, Mo. school library (2002) because the book promotes homosexuality and discusses issues “best left to parents.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2002, p. 256.

 


Newton, Michael

The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers

Facts on File

Challenged and retained in the Hillsborough County, Fla. School District (2002) over a parent's objections to the book’s “gruesome details.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2002, p. 179.


O'Brien, Tim

The Things They Carried

Broadway Bks.; Houghton

Banned from the George County, Miss. schools (2002) because of profanity.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2003, p. 55.


Paterson, Katherine

Bridge to Terabithia

Crowell

Challenged in the middle school curriculum in Cromwell, Conn. (2002) due to concern that it promotes witchcraft and violence. The book is the recipient of the 1978 Newbery Medal for children’s literature.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2002, p. 197; Nov. 2002, pp. 257-58.


Pressfield, Steven

Gates of Fire

Doubleday

Retained in the Fairfax County, Va. Public Schools (2002) after being challenged for “too much profanity.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2002, p. 179.




Rennison, Louise

Knocked Out by My Nunga-Nungas

HarperCollins

Challenged at the Oregon, Wis. Middle School (2002) by a parent who was particularly offended by a passage in which a boy touches a girl’s breast.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Scholastic

Proposed for removal, along with more than fifty other titles, by a teachers’ prayer group at the high school in Russell Springs, Ky. (2002) because the book deals with ghosts, cults, and witchcraft. Parents of a Cedarville, Ark. (2002) fourth-grader filed a federal lawsuit challenging restricted access to the Harry Potter book—students are required to present written permission from a parent to borrow the book; the novel was originally challenged because it characterized authority as “stupid” and portrays “good witches and good magic.” Challenged in Moscow, Russia (2002) by a Slavic cultural organization that alleged the stories about magic and wizards could draw students into Satanism.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2002, p. 61; May 2002, p. 116; Sept. 2002, p. 197; Mar. 2003, p. 77; May 2003, p. 94.


Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Scholastic

Proposed for removal, along with more than fifty other titles, by a teachers’ prayer group at the high school in Russell Springs, Ky. (2002) because the book deals with ghosts, cults, and witchcraft. Parents of a Cedarville, Ark. (2002) fourth-grader filed a federal lawsuit challenging restricted access to the Harry Potter book—students are required to present written permission from a parent to borrow the book; the novel was originally challenged because it characterized authority as “stupid” and portrays “good witches and good magic.” Challenged in Moscow, Russia (2002) by a Slavic cultural organization that alleged the stories about magic and wizards could draw students into Satanism.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2002, p. 61; May 2002, p. 116; Sept. 2002, p. 197; Mar. 2003, p. 77; May 2003, p. 94.


Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Scholastic

Proposed for removal, along with more than fifty other titles, by a teachers' prayer group at the high school in Russell Springs, Ky. (2002) because the book deals with ghosts, cults, and witchcraft. Parents of a Cedarville, Ark. (2002) fourth-grader filed a federal lawsuit challenging restricted access to the Harry Potter book “students are required to present written permission from a parent to borrow the book; the novel was originally challenged because it characterized authority as “stupid” and portrays “good witches and good magic.” Challenged in Moscow, Russia (2002) by a Slavic cultural organization that alleged the stories about magic and wizards could draw students into Satanism.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2002, p. 61; May 2002, p. 116; Sept. 2002, p. 197; Mar. 2003, p. 77; May 2003, p. 94.


Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Scholastic

Proposed for removal, along with more than fifty other titles, by a teachers’ prayer group at the high school in Russell Springs, Ky. (2002) because the book deals with ghosts, cults, and witchcraft. Parents of a Cedarville, Ark. (2002) fourth-grader filed a federal lawsuit challenging restricted access to the Harry Potter book “students are required to present written permission from a parent to borrow the book; the novel was originally challenged because it characterized authority as “stupid” and portrays “good witches and good magic.” Challenged in Moscow, Russia (2002) by a Slavic cultural organization that alleged the stories about magic and wizards could draw students into Satanism.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 2002, p. 61; May 2002, p. 116; Sept. 2002, p. 197; Mar. 2003, p. 77; May 2003, p. 94.


Santiago, Esmeralda

When I Was Puerto Rican

Addison-Wesley; Vintage

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.


Schechter, Harold and David Everitt

The A-Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers

Pocket Bks.

Challenged and retained in the Hillsborough County, Fla. School District (2002) because of a parent's objection to the book’s “gruesome details.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2002, p. 179.


Speare, Elizabeth George

Witch of Blackbird Pond

Houghton

Challenged in the middle school curriculum in Cromwell, Conn. (2002) based on concern that it promotes witchcraft and violence. The book is the recipient of the 1959 Newbery Medal for children’s literature.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2002, p. 197; Nov. 2002, pp. 257-58.


Steinbeck, John

Of Mice and Men

Bantam; Penguin; Viking

Challenged as required reading at the high school in Grandville, Mich. (2002) because the book “is full of racism, profanity, and foul language.” Banned from the George County, Miss. schools (2002) because of profanity.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2002, p. 280; Mar. 2003, p. 55.

 


Thom, James Alexander

Follow the River

Mass Market

Removed from the tenth grade curriculum at the high school in Noblesville, Ind. (2002) after a parent objected to passages about an imagined rape; the book remains in the library collection.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2002, p. 117


Twain, Mark [Samuel L. Clemens]

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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

Challenged in the Portland, Oreg. schools (2002) by an African-American student who said he was offended by an ethnic slur used in the 1885 novel.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, pp. 11-12.


Walker, Alice

The Color Purple

Harcourt

Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, Va. elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books “contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.”

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2003, p. 10.

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