Banned Books

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.

Oscar Wilde


File this post under, ‘you don’t know how lucky you are.’ The details of the banned and challenged books listed below are excerpts taken from the Banned Books Resource Guide by the American Library Association, and Ready Reference Censorship, copyright 1997, Salem Press (ed. Lawrence Amey et al.).

1984. George Orwell. Challenged in the Jackson County, Florida, USA. (1981) because the novel is “pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter.”

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne Frank. Challenged in Wise County, Virginia, USA (1982) due to “sexually offensive” passages. Four members of the Alabama State Textbook Committee (1983) called for the rejection of this book because it is a “real downer.”

Brave New World. Aldous Huxley. Banned in Ireland (1932). Removed from classroom in Miller, Montana (1980). Challenged at the Yukon, Oklahoma High School, USA (1988); challenged as required reading in the Corona-Norco, California Unified School District (1993) because the book “centred around negative activity.”

Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury. Ironically, students at the Venado Middle School in Irvine, California received copies of the book with scores of words–mostly “hells” and “damns”–blacked out. The novel is about book burning and censorship. Thankfully, after receiving complaints from parents and being contacted by reporters, school officials said the censored copies would no longer be used (1992).

Twelfth Night. William Shakespeare. Removed from a Merrimack USA, high school English class (1996) because of a policy that bans instruction which has “the effect of encouraging or supporting homosexuality as a positive lifestyle alternative.”

And finally, Where’s Wally? Challenged at the Public Libraries of Saginaw, Michigan (1989), removed from the Springs Public School library in East Hampton, N.Y. (1993) because there is a tiny drawing of a woman lying on the beach wearing a bikini bottom but no top.


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