Sexual, blasphemous, atheist, magical, anti-racist and feminist, or just too rooted in scientific reality — which books, From the ridiculously licentious Fanny Hill to the sublimely path-breaking Origin of Species — have raised the ire of a school board or other authority? The ALA (American Library Association) has lists of books people have tried to get ousted from libraries and schools and they might surprise you. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a novel about the evils of racism from 1960 (for gosh sake!) is still an oft-challenged book. And then there is The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and Beloved by Toni Morrison… hmmm, is there a pattern here, one wonders? But no, the Captain Underpants series has also been “challenged.”
So, seriously, go out and get your hands on a “challenged” or “banned” book — before it disappears. Remember Hypatia, and her Library of Alexandria. Freedom of thought, diversity and yes, knowledge itself, can be lost. Find out what you can do to observe Banned Books Week 2011.