Though most book-ban inquiries remain hush hush, 9,600 requests to censor have been logged since 1990. With the help of news and librarian reports, the American Library Association tracks what tawdry titles threaten to jump off bookshelves into children’s knapsacks. And now USA Today has made a fancy chart, sortable by title, author, reasons for challenge, location, and final decision.
Sexual content was the most oft-cited reason — 144 out of the 272 times — while the racially themed, vulgarly worded, and violently depicted were other chart toppers. Someone even tried to remove the dictionary!
So what aren't we reading? To see some of the most well-known titles and why they were banned, read more.
- The Bluest Eye: A Toni Morrison novel — and Oprah Book Club selection — was removed from a Colorado school for sexual and violent content.
- Clifford the Big Red Dog: The bilingual edition was removed from a California school for unspecified reasons. Que?
- Girl Interrupted: Removed from a Maine school for language.
- The Lovely Bones: Moved to the faculty section of library after concerns that it was too frightening for students. So, violence?
- Huck Finn: Removed from multiple schools for racial themes.
- Harry Potter series: A Catholic school removed them because of inappropriate religious content.
- Beloved: Removed from an AP English class's reading list because of sex and racial themes.
- Prep: A Novel: Removed from a school after a parent complained it was pornographic.
Any here shock you? Was a book ever banned from your library or school?