Reading in some school and campus libraries is tricky

banned-booksEditor’s note: This article first ran in May 2013. Do you think that schools and campus libraries should ban these books? Do you think these books are less controversial this year compared to 2013? Why or why not? Leave a comment below and join the conversation on Twitter @eSN_Meris.

Reading is still a central part of learning, and with the current emphasis on eBooks and 21st century learning in school and campus libraries, it’s hard to imagine any book under restriction. Nevertheless, every year, more books are placed on the American Library Association’s (ALA) “challenged” books list.

For many children and young adults, there is no greater pleasure then becoming lost in fictional worlds characterized by colorful people and settings of times past or future…and if there happens to be curse words or a scandalous event, well, that’s all part of the narrative.

Yet, many parents and school and campus staff take exception to some fictional works, presenting “challenges”­­—formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness—through the library association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

This year (2013), though Fifty Shades of Grey placed at No.4 on the ALA’s challenged books list, a children’s book for bathroom training, The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, topped the list at No. 1, while And Tango Makes Three, a story of a child growing up with two same-sex parents, is one of the most challenged children’s books in history—reminding book lovers everywhere that if there’s one genre of book people scrutinize the most, it’s those meant for children and young adults.

In this list, you’ll find 10 of the most widely banned books, some more recent and some old, that are also the most likely to be removed from school and library shelves.

(Next page: 10 banned books)


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