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Book Bans and Challenges: Overview

This guide is to provide access & information concerning all currently challenged and banned books in the United States.

What Even Is a Banned Book & Why Does it Matter?

Books are been challenged and banned at an alarming right in the United States.  In the first eight months of 2022, there were 681 attempts to ban or restrict books in libraries throughout the United States. It is predicted that this number will only continue to grow throughout 2023 and beyond. We believe that books and the information they contain should remain uncensored and up to the reader's discretion. This is our LibGuide to Banned Books.

Why Might a Book be Banned or Censored?

  • Discusses racism and/or racial issues
  • Encouragement of "damaging" lifestyles 
    • (Ex. sexuality, pre-marital sex, or using drugs)
  • Sexual content
  • Violence
    • Some books have even been banned for being deemed "too negative" or "depressing"
  • References to and/or use of witchcraft or other occults
  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Deemed inappropriate for certain ages

There can be many other reasonings, however these are often the most cited when a book is banned or challenged

The Top Ten Ludicrous Reasons To Ban A Book

1. "Encourages children to break dishes so they won’t have to dry them." ( A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstien)
2. "It caused a wave of rapes." ( Arabian Nights, or One Thousand and One Nights)
3. "If there is a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it?" ( Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown)
4. "Tarzan was 'living in sin' with Jane." ( Tarzan, by Edgar Rice Burroughs)
5. "It is a real downer." ( Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank)
6. "The basket carried by Little Red Riding Hood contained a bottle of wine, which condones the use of alcohol." ( Little Red Riding Hood, by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm K. Grimm)
7. "One bunny is white and the other is black and this brainwashes readers into accepting miscegenation." ( The Rabbit’s Wedding, by Garth Williams)
8. "It is a religious book and public funds should not be used to purchase religious books." ( Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, by Walter A. Elwell, ed.)
9. "A female dog is called a bitch." ( My Friend Flicka, by Mary O’Hara)
10. "An unofficial version of the story of Noah’s Ark will confuse children." ( Many Waters, by Madeleine C. L’Engle)

See the list here

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