News at Buckley

Banned Books Week: An Exhibit at the Robert Young Library

This week librarians Matt Wittmer and Stephanie Kaczkiewicz installed an exhibit in the Robert Young Library to commemorate the American Library Association's Banned Books Week, during which we celebrate intellectual freedom by promoting titles that have been banned.
Learn why books were censored, banned, or removed by taking a look at Buckley’s Robert Young Library index and exhibit: 
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932) was banned the same year it was published in Ireland. It has been removed from classrooms and libraries. It was most recently removed in 2011 in Washington state.
  • Forever by Judy Blume (1975) was placed on a parental shelf in 1993 at a Wisconsin high school and was confiscated by the principal. The school counselor criticized the principal’s decision to restrict access to the novel. 
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993) is a prize-winning novel that has been banned from schools and is restricted regularly because of objections that the book is “lewd” and “twisted”. 
  • 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures by Elizabeth Martinez (1991) was banned from the Tucson Unified School District in 2012 as a result of the dismantling of the Mexican-American Studies program after the superintendent threatened to withhold millions of dollars if the school district didn’t terminate the program. 
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (1998) is frequently challenged and banned all over the world because of objections that it promotes witchcraft, satanism, and lying to parents.
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (2013) was challenged but retained in 2016 in a Virginia school district because parents objected to the storyline and said it was filled with “vile, vile, nasty language.” The Virginia Board of Education deemed it to be a matter for local policy. 
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (1974) has been banned and challenged over 40 times. Many objections stated it was “obscene” and “inappropriate.”
  • Holly’s Secret by Nancy Garden (2000) was challenged by a Texas county library in 2004 with fifteen other young-adult books with gay-positive themes.
  • The Man Died: Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka by Wole Soyinka (1971) was banned in 1984 in Nigeria after the government made it a criminal offense to publish any article, true or false, that could embarrass a government officer.

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