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Chaffey College • 5885 Haven Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737 - 3002 • 909/652-6000
“Something will be offensive to someone in every book, so you've got to fight it.”
― Judy Blume
“Yes, books are dangerous. They should be dangerous - they contain ideas.”
― Pete Hautman
“Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.”
― Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak
Banned Classics Found in our Catalog
The Great Gatsby by
The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island in the 1920s that resonates with the power of myth.
Challenged at the Baptist College in Charleston, SC (1987) because of "language and sexual references in the book."
The Catcher in the Rye by
The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. He leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.
Challenged in the Waterloo, IA schools (1992) and Duval County, FL public school libraries (1992) because of profanity, lurid passages about sex, and statements defamatory to minorities, God, women, and the disabled.
The Grapes of Wrath by
Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California.
Burned by the East St. Louis, IL Public Library (1939) and barred from the Buffalo, NY Public Library (1939) on the grounds that "vulgar words" were used. Banned in Kansas City, MO (1939).
To Kill a Mockingbird by
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success, it went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.
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
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, winner of the National Book Award, published to unprecedented acclaim,The Color Purple is the story of two sisters--one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South--who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence.
Banned in the Souderton, PA Area School District (1992) as inappropriate reading for 10th graders because it is "smut."
Brave New World by
Aldous Huxley is rightly considered a prophetic genius and one of the most important literary and philosophical voices of the 20th Century, and Brave New World is his masterpiece. Brave New World remains absolutely relevant to this day as both a cautionary dystopian tale in the vein of the George Orwell classic 1984, and as thought-provoking, thoroughly satisfying entertainment.
Challenged as required reading in the Corona-Norco, CA Unified School District (1993) because it is "centered around negative activity." Specifically, parents objected that the characters' sexual behavior directly opposed the health curriculum, which taught sexual abstinence until marriage.
Sethe, an escaped slave living in post-Civil War Ohio with her daughter and mother-in-law, is persistantly haunted by the ghost of her dead baby girl.
Challenged by a member of the Madawaska, ME School Committee (1997) because of the book's language. The 1987 Pulitzer Prize winning novel has been required reading for the advanced placement English class for six years.
Lord of the Flies by
William Golding's compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island has become a modern classic. At first it seems as though it is all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. As ordinary standards of behaviour collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them--the world of cricket and homework and adventure stories--and another world is revealed beneath, primitive and terrible.
Challenged at the Sully Buttes, SD High School (1981). Challenged at the Owen, NC High School (1981) because the book is "demoralizing inasmuch as it implies that man is little more than an animal."
Nineteen Eighty-Four by
While the totalitarian system that provoked him into writing it has since passed into oblivion, his harrowing cautionary tale of a man trapped in a political nightmare has had the opposite fate: its relevance and power to disturb our complacency seem to grow decade by decade.
Challenged in the Jackson County, FL (1981) because Orwell's novel is "pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter."
Of Mice and Men by
They are an unlikely pair: George and Lennie. Yet they have formed a "family," clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the consequences of his innocent actions.
Challenged in the Galena, KS school library (1995) because of the book's language and social implications.
Banned Young Adult Literature Found in our Catalog
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by
After 10 miserable years with his aunt and uncle, Harry Potter is invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Each book follows another year in Harry's education while more of his frightening destiny is revealed.
Reason: alleged occult/Satanic and anti-family themes, and violence
The Chocolate War by
Cormier's chilling look at the insidious world of gang intimidation and the abuse of power in a boys' boarding school is no less relevant today than it was in 1974.
Reason: pessimistic portrayal of life, its sexual imagery, and its violence. It has also been criticized as needlessly vulgar and skewed toward the worst of human nature
Go Ask Alice by
A teen plunges into a downward spiral of addiction in this classic cautionary tale. It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city.
Reason: frequent and strong references to sex, heavy drug usage, and teen pregnancy
The Giver by
The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
Reason: “Violence” and claims that the book is “Unsuited to [the] Age Group”—or in other words that it’s too dark for children.
Bridge to Terabithia by
Publication Date: 1977-10-21
Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke, outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie's house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.
Reason: references to witchcraft and atheism and a lot of swearing
A Wrinkle in Time by
When the children learn that Mr. Murry has been captured by the Dark Thing, they time travel to Camazotz, where they must face the leader IT in the ultimate battle between good and evil--a journey that threatens their lives and our universe.
Reason: the book undermines the Christian worldview, references to witchcraft
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by
Margaret shares her secrets and her spirituality in this iconic Judy Blume novel, beloved by millions. Margaret Simon, almost twelve, has just moved from New York City to Farbook, New Jersey, and is anxious to fit in with her new friends. When they form a secret club to talk about private subjects like boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret is happy to belong. What they don't know is Margaret has her own very special relationship with God. She can talk to God about everything.
Reason: "sexually offensive and amoral", "profane, immoral, and offensive", as well as "anti-Christian behavior".
Anastasia Krupnik by
Anastasia's tenth year has some good things, like falling in love and really getting to know her grandmother, and some bad things, like finding out about an impending baby brother.
Reason: risqué language and references to pre-teen pressures
My Brother Sam Is Dead by
All his life, Tim Meeker has looked up to his brother Sam. Sam's smart and brave -- and is now a part of the American Revolution. Not everyone in town wants to be a part of the rebellion. Most are supporters of the British -- including Tim and Sam's father. With the war soon raging, Tim know he'll have to make a choice -- between the Revolutionaries and the Redcoats . . . and between his brother and his father.
Reason: profanity, excessive violence, and alcohol consumption.
The Outsiders by
When it was first published in 1967, The Outsiders defied convention with its immediate, deeply sympathetic portrayal of Ponyboy and his struggle to find a place for himself in a difficult world. Thirty years later, it speaks to teenagers as powerfully as ever.
Reason: portrayal of gang violence, underage smoking and drinking, as well as strong language/slang and family dysfunction.
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