Banned Books Week begins today.
HarperCollins set up a site for Banned Book Week 1995 (no longer up) which featured a number of their books that have been banned over the years. Included is a top ten list which is silly on its face, but sobering when you think that children's books have actually been challenged for these reasons.
Top Ten Silly Reasons
to Ban a HarperCollins Children's Book
1. "Encourages children to break dishes so they won't have to dry them."
(A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein)
2. Children shouldn't be "scared by materials they read in school."
(Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz)
3. The book "portrays the U.S. government as lacking in intelligence and responsibility."
(The Fragile Flag by Jane Langton)
4. The book "teaches children to spy."
(Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh)
5. "The little boy did not have any clothes on and it pictured his private area."
(In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak)
6. "Children are not ready for illustrations and conversation about jockstraps."
(The Dallas Titans Get Ready for Bed by Karla Kuskin)
7. School board members were concerned about a "sad ending."
(Alan and Naomi by Myron Levoy)
8. Challenged as a summer reading assignment because, "it sounds like pretty explicit stuff."
(The Contender by Robert Lipsyte)
9. The book is "demented."
(The Long Secret by Louise Fitzhugh.)
10. "Promotes cannibalism."
(Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein)
Fahrenheit 451: Freedom to Read
AMERICAN BOOKSELLERS FOUNDATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION