Books Challenged or Banned in 2005-2006, by Robert P. Doyle

This bibliography represents books challenged, restricted, removed, or banned in 2005–2006 as reported in the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom from May 2005 through May 2006.

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Angelou, Maya

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Bantam

Removed as required reading in Annapolis, Md. freshman English curriculum (2006) because the book's rape scenes and other mature content are too advanced for ninth-graders. The freshman English class syllabus is sent home to parents to read at the beginning of each year. It warns them of the book's mature themes and allows parents to ask to have their children read another book instead.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2006, pp. 132–33.


Atkins, Catherine

When Jeff Comes Home

Putnam

Restricted to students with parental permission in the Irving, Tex. schools (2006). The book is about a boy's recovery after being kidnapped and sexually abused by a man. The publisher recommends the book for readers thirteen and older, while School Library Journal suggested it for readers in grades ten and above. It was named a best book for young adults by the American Library Association in 2000.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, March 2006, pp. 72–73.


Atwood, Margaret

The Handmaid’s Tale

Fawcett; Houghton; Simon; Hall

The Judson, Tex. school district board overruled (2006) Superintendent Ed Lyman's ban of the novel from an advanced placement English curriculum. Lyman had banned the book after a parent complained it was sexually explicit and offensive to Christians. In doing so, he overruled the recommendation of a committee of teachers, students, and parents. The committee appealed the decision to the school board.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2006, pp. 154–55.


Blume, Judy

Forever

Bradbury Pr.

Challenged in the Fayetteville, Ark. Middle and Junior High School libraries (2005). The complainant also submitted a list of more than fifty books, citing the books as too sexually explicit and promoting homosexuality.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2005, p. 215.


Burgess, Melvin

Doing It

Holt

Challenged in the Fayetteville, Ark. High School library (2005). The complainant also submitted a list of more than fifty books, citing the books as too sexually explicit and promoting homosexuality.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2005, p. 215.


Carter, Judy

The Homo Handbook: Getting in Touch with Your Inner Homo

Fireside

Challenged in the Fayetteville, Ark. High School library (2005). The complainant also submitted a list of more than fifty books, citing the books as too sexually explicit and promoting homosexuality.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2005, p. 215.

 


Chbosky, Stephen

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Pocket Bks.

Retained in the Arrowhead High School curriculum in Merton, Wis. (2005). Reading the book was optional and parents could choose to have their children read something else. Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction sent a letter (2005) to charter schools and public school principals and district superintendents asking them to make sure that the book is no longer available to minors or any other students. The book contains numerous sexual references, including a scene where a girl is forced to have oral sex with a boy during a party.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2005, pp. 111–12; Jan. 2006, p. 9.


Cormier, Robert

We All Fall Down

Dell

Challenged at the Cherry Hill, N.J. Public Library's young adult section (2005) by a parent claiming its "deplorable" content was unfit for young minds. The book was retained.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2005, p. 296.


Crutcher, Chris

Whale Talk

Greenwillow

Removed from all five Limestone County, Ala. high school libraries (2005) because of the book's use of profanity. Removed from the suggested reading list for a pilot English-literature curriculum by the superintendent of the South Carolina Board of Education (2005). Challenged at the Grand Ledge, Mich. High School (2005).

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2005, p. 107; July 2005, pp. 153–54.


Daldry, Jeremy

The Teenage Guy's Survival Guide

Little

Restricted, but later returned to general circulation shelves with some limits on student access, based on a review committee's recommendations, at the Holt Middle School parent library in Fayetteville, Ark. (2005) despite a parent's complaint that it was sexually explicit.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2005, pp. 295–96.


Dickey, Eric Jerome

The Other Woman

Dutton

Challenged in the Fayetteville, Ark. High School library (2005). The complainant also submitted a list of more than fifty books, citing the books as too sexually explicit and promoting homosexuality.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2005, p. 215.


Drill, Esther

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

Pocket Bks.

Challenged in the Fayetteville, Ark. schools libraries (2005). The complainant also submitted a list of more than fifty books, citing the books as too sexually explicit and promoting homosexuality.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2005, pp. 295–96.


Elish, Dan

Born Too Short: The Confessions of an Eighth-Grade Basket Case

Thorndike Pr.

Banned in Carroll County, Md. schools (2005). No reason stated.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, March 2006, pp. 70–71.


Grisham, John

A Time to Kill

Wynwood Pr.

Challenged, but retained in the Fargo, N. Dak. North High School advanced English classes (2005) despite complaints about the novel's graphic rape and murder scenes.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2005, p. 161; Sept. 2005, p. 239; Jan. 2006, pp. 14–15.


Haddon, Mark

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Doubleday

Challenged at the Galveston, Tex. County Reads Day (2006) because the book could "pollute" young minds.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, March 2006, pp. 71–72.

 


Harris, Robie H.

It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health

Candlewick Pr.

Restricted, but later returned to general circulation shelves with some limits on student access, based on a review committee's recommendations, at the Holt Middle School parent library in Fayetteville, Ark. (2005) despite a parent's complaint that it was sexually explicit.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2005, p. 131; Nov. 2005, pp. 295–96.


Harris, Robie H.

It's So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families  

Candlewick Pr.

Restricted, but later returned to general circulation shelves with some limits on student access, based on a review committee's recommendations, at the Holt Middle School parent library in Fayetteville, Ark. (2005) despite a parent's complaint that it was sexually explicit. Relocated to the reference section of the Northern Hills Elementary school media center in Onalaska, Wis. (2005) because a parent complained about its frank yet kid-friendly discussion of reproduction topics, including sexual intercourse, masturbation, abortion, and homosexuality.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2005, p. 131; Nov. 2005, pp. 281–82, 295–96.


Hartinger, Brent

Geography Club

HarperTempest

Withdrawn from Curtis Junior High and Curtis Senior High school libraries (2005) after a University Place, Wash. couple with children in both schools filed a written complaint. They wrote that the book could result in a "casual and loose approach to sex," encourage use of Internet porn, and the physical meeting of people through chat rooms.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2006, pp. 12–13; March 2006, p. 73.


Huegel, Kelly

GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens

Free Spirit Pub.

Challenged in the Fayetteville, Ark. High School library (2005). The complainant also submitted a list of more than fifty books, citing the books as too sexually explicit and promoting homosexuality.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2005, p. 215.


Jukes, Mavis

The Guy Book: An Owner's Manual

Crown Pub.

Challenged in the Lockwood, Mont. Middle School library (2006) by parents who objected to what they believe to be misleading, sexually explicit material in the book. The book was retained. The challenge came on the heels of a December decision by the board to pull three books from the middle school library. Those books were The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends, by Jan Brunvand, and Urban Legends and Alligators in the Sewer, both by Thomas Craughwell. The same parent brought those titles — and their content — to the attention of the librarian and superintendent.

       Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2006, pp. 129–30.


Kaysen, Susanna

Girl, Interrupted

Vintage

Removed temporarily from the curriculum, pending its review, from the Orono, Maine High School (2006) after a parent complained about strong language and vivid descriptions. Movie stars Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder brought the book into the limelight when they starred in the 2000 film version.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, March 2006, pp. 73–74.


Lee, Harper

To Kill a Mockingbird

Lippincott/Harper; Popular Library.

Challenged at the Brentwood, Tenn. Middle School (2006) because the book contains "profanity" and "contains adult themes such as sexual intercourse, rape, and incest." The complainants also contend that the book's use of racial slurs promotes "racial hatred, racial division, racial separation, and promotes white supremacy."

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, March 2006, p. 74.


Lowry, Lois

The Giver

Dell; Houghton

Challenged, but retained at the Seaman, Kans. Unified School District 345 elementary school library (2006).

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2006, p. 153.


Mackler, Carolyn
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

Candlewick Pr.

Banned by the Carroll County Superintendent in Westminster, Md. (2006), but after protests from students, librarians, national organizations, and the publisher, the book was returned to the high school libraries, but not middle schools. The superintendent objected to the book's use of profanity and its sexual references. The book was named the 2004 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, and the International Reading Association's 2005 Young Adults' Choice, among other accolades.

       Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, March 2006, pp. 70–71.


Morrison, Toni

The Bluest Eye

NAL

Banned from the Littleton, Colo. curriculum and library shelves (2005) after complaints about its explicit sex, including the rape of an eleven-year-old girl by her father.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2006, p. 13.


Myers, Walter Dean

Fallen Angels

Scholastic

Removed from the Blue Valley School District's high school curriculum in Overland Park, Kans. (2005). The book was challenged by parents and community members along with thirteen other titles.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2005, pp. 282–83.

 


Nabokov, Vladimir

Lolita

Berkley; McGraw-Hill; Putnam

Challenged at the Marion-Levy Public Library System in Ocala, Fla. (2006). The Marion County commissioners voted to have the county attorney review the novel that addresses the themes of pedophilia and incest, to determine if it meets the state law's definition of "unsuitable for minors."

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, March 2006, pp. 69–70.


Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds

Alice on the Outside

Atheneum

Available with parental permission in the librarian's office at Shelbyville, Ky. East Middle School (2005) because the book is "too sexually explicit" for middle-school students.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2005, p. 108; July 2005, pp. 185–86.


Palahniuk, Chuck

Choke: A Novel

Doubleday

Challenged in the Fayetteville, Ark. High School library (2005). The complainant also submitted a list of more than fifty books, citing the books as too sexually explicit and promoting homosexuality.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2005, p. 215.


Parsons, Alexander

Leaving Disneyland

Thomas Dunne Bks.

Banned in Carroll County, Md. schools (2005). No reason stated.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, March 2006, pp. 70-71.

 


Peters, Lisa Westberg

Our Family Tree: An Evolution Story

Harcourt

Retained in the Seaman, Kans. Unified School District 345 elementary school library (2006). Objections were raised because the book is about the scientific theory of evolution.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2006, p. 153.


Proulx, Annie

Brokeback Mountain

Scribner.

Retained at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, Tex. (2005). The private school returned a three million dollar donation rather than submit to the donor's request that the short story be removed from the school's list of optional reading for twelfth graders.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2006, p. 37.


Rapp, Adam

The Buffalo Tree

HarperCollins

Banned from the Muhlenberg, Pa. High School (2005). Several months later the board reversed that decision and determined that a reading list be made available to parents including a rating system, plot summaries of all assigned books, and the identification of any potentially objectionable content.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2005, pp. 161–62.


Reynolds, Marilyn

Detour for Emmy

Morning Glory Pr.

Challenged in the Action Middle School library in Granbury, Tex. (2005) because it "talks very vividly about sexual encounters of a fifteen-year-old." The book was cited as one of the American Library Association's Best Books for Young Adults in 1993.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2005, pp. 280-81; Jan. 2006, pp. 10–11.


Richardson, Justin and Peter Parnell

And Tango Makes Three

Simon

Moved from the children's fiction section to children's nonfiction at two Rolling Hill's Consolidated Library's branches in Savannah and St. Joseph, Mo. (2006) after parents complained it had homosexual undertones. The illustrated book is based on a true story of two male penguins who adopted an abandoned egg at New York City's Central Park in the late 1990s.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2006, p. 129.


Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Scholastic

Removed by the Wilsona School District trustees from a list recommended by a parent-teacher committee for the Vista San Gabriel, Calif. Elementary School library (2006) along with twenty-three other books. Trustees said one rejected book contained an unsavory hero who made a bad role model for children; another was about a warlock, which they said was inappropriate; and others were books with which they were unfamiliar and didn't know whether they promoted good character or conflicted with textbooks. Rejected titles included three bilingual Clifford the Big Red Dog books, Disney's Christmas Storybook, two books from the Artemis Fowl series, Beauty is a Beast, California (Welcome to the USA), and The Eye of the Warlock.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 2006, p. 127.


Sanchez, Alex

Rainbow Boys

Simon

Challenged in the Fayetteville, Ark. High School library (2005). The complainant also submitted a list of more than fifty books, citing the books as too sexually explicit and promoting homosexuality.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2005, p. 215.


Sidhwa, Bapsi

Cracking India

Milkweed Eds.

Challenged at Deland High School, near Daytona Beach, Fla. (2005) as part of the school's International Baccalaureate Program, whose curriculum is college-level. In a letter sent home, parents were offered the option of having their children assigned an alternate book. A parent objected to a two-page scene in which the narrator brushes off an older cousin's attempt to trick her into performing oral sex.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Jan. 2006, pp. 13–14.


Touchette, Charleen

It Stops With Me: Memoir of a Canuck Girl

Touch Arts Bks.

Removed from the Woonsocket Harris, R.I. Public Library shelves (2005) after the book was challenged by the author's father. He wrote, "If members of a family wish to harm one another, those actions should be kept private and should not draw in others by involving matters of public policy." The book was later returned to the shelves.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, March 2006, p. 91.


Wersba, Barbara

Whistle Me Home

Holt

Banned in Carroll County, Md. schools (2005). No reason stated.

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, March 2006, pp. 70–71.


Wolff, Tobias

This Boy's Life: A Memoir

Atlantic Monthly Pr.; Perennial Library.

Removed from the Blue Valley School District's high school curriculum in Overland Park, Kans. (2005). The book was challenged by parents and community members because of "foul language, and references to alcohol and sexual activity."

Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2005, pp. 282–83.

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