Books Banned In
The United States
Censorship in American schools and libraries is increasing as lists of books to be attacked are shared by censorship groups around the country.
Historically, you might be surprised to know what all of the following books have in common.
In fact, some 500 books are banned in the United States each year by people that feel that students shouldn't be exposed to certain words or ideas.
You might wonder why some of the books above have been banned. Little Red Riding Hood was banned because original versions included "wine" as a gift to grandma.
The most popular (and most censored) children's books of this decade, the Harry Potter books, have been condemned for promoting witchcraft.
Christian Parenting Today branded these books "pure evil."
Even so, the series is credited in getting more young people interested in reading than any book in history.
Most recently, the very popular, Twilight, has been censored by groups who see it as misrepresenting religion.
In 1925, North Carolina banned textbooks that discussed Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. In 2015 this issue is still being argued.
In 1983, parents sued the Hawkins Country Tennessee school system for having the "Satan-oriented" stories of The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears in their library.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was originally banned because some people objected to animal characters being able to speak.
Some censored books are considered literary masterpieces. Diary of A Young Girl, and The Color Purple, have won prestigious awards.
In 1929, all the Tarzan books were banned in Los Angeles, California, because it was reasoned that the fictional character, Tarzan, was living in the jungle with Jane without being married.*
Once again (2011) the award-winning children's book, And Tango Makes Three, tops the American Library Assn.'s list of most frequently challenged books. The book recounts the true story of two emperor penguins at New York's Central Park Zoo who hatched and parented a baby chick.
The reason for getting it banned?
The emperor penguins are both male.
One of the most notable and notorious censorship cases took place in 1959. This case centered on a book written by D. H. Lawrence — Lady Chatterley's Lover. The objection was over the description of a affair that Lady Chatterley had.
Although this description would be considered tame by today's standards — which tells you just how much things change over time — in 1959, there was a major public outcry to ban the book.
When a biology textbook containing a chapter on human reproduction was adopted in one school district, the principal stapled all the pages together so (he thought) students wouldn't be able to read them.
In another biology textbook drawings of male and female reproductive organs were painted over with black poster paint.
Some people say, "What's it matter; today we have the Internet that can circumvent attempts at censorship."
While that may in part be true, there is also the fact that states such as Texas that have been most active in censorship** also have the lowest percentage of homes with Internet connections.
* This is an example of how "morality" changes, or how social reality shapes religious morality. Today, with millions of couples living together without marriage, including large numbers of senior citizens, moralists have largely grown silent on this issue.
** As late as 2015 a Texas school board rejected an attempt to have the content of textbooks fact checked by experts before being adopted by schools. This came on the heels of ongoing complaints about the content of Texas textbooks being shaped by political and religious factions.
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