My (almost) Wordless Wednesday tribute to just five of my favorite frequently challenged or banned books, in honor of this week’s celebration of our Freedom to Read. I’ve chosen just one of the numerous recent challenges provided by the American Library Association.
Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
- Removed from required reading lists and library shelves in the Richmond County, GA. School District (1994) after a parent complained that passages from the book are “filthy and inappropriate.”
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Challenged at the Baptist College in Charleston, SC (1987) because of “language and sexual references in the book.”
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
- Challenged at the Brentwood, TN 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.”
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
- Challenged as appropriate reading for Oakland, CA High School honors class (1984) due to the work’s “sexual and social explicitness” and its “troubling ideas about race relations, man’s relationship to God, African history, and human sexuality.”
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
- Banned from the George County, MS schools (2002) because of profanity. Challenged in the Normal, IL Community High Schools (2003) because the books contains “racial slurs, profanity, violence, and does not represent traditional values.”
All images of book covers are from Goodreads.
What are your favorite banned books?
- Banned Book Week Day 3 – OH! The Giveaways!!! (bookjourney.wordpress.com)
- ‘Banned Book Week’ highlights classics barred from shelves (thegrio.com)
- happy banned books week! (sparklelovedo.wordpress.com)
- Celebrate Reading With Banned Books Week (anniecardi.com)
- Preparing for Banned Books Week (alenaslife.wordpress.com)
- Banned Books Week 2012 (library.sbcc.edu)