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Archive [General] > September: Banned Books

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message 1: by Anne ✨ (last edited Aug 26, 2018 11:20AM) (new)

Anne ✨ Finds Joy (annefindsjoy) | 718 comments Our September theme is: "Banned Books" : books that have been banned, or challenged for controversial content.

Here's how to participate in our Monthly Read + Write (R+W) activity

*************** 1. READ *********************
Do you have a book on your TBR that is commonly challenged/banned/controversial? Choose to read one this month!
- For book ideas, see Goodreads Banned Books genre page
- The ALA (American Library Association) OIF (Office for Intellectual Freedom) publishes lists of the Top Ten Challenged books each year.. see them here...

******************* 2. WRITE *****************
- If you could BAN something from your life to make MORE room for reading, what would it be? What gets in the way of having time to read? Is it work? TV? Social Media? Chores? Your kids? Write to a PenPal about how much/little time you have had for reading this year, and what gets in the way of reading more. Or if you read a lot, what's your secret? Audiobooks? Reading for your job? Suggest a banned book you and your PenPal could read together this month.

WHO do you write to, you ask?
i) Write to an existing PenPal you've corresponded with in previous challenges/activities
ii) Write to a new PenPal - check-out the 'Seeking a PenPal' threads, or Age Group threads, (or any activity thread) and choose someone new to correspond with this month.

********************** 3. SHARE ****************
Update below with what books you're reading and how your PenPal connections are going this month!

Read, Write, Share, Connect!
Read, Write, Share, Connect!
Read, Write, Share, Connect!.... you get the idea :)

message 2: by Jazzy (last edited Aug 26, 2018 02:25PM) (new)

Jazzy Lemon (jazzylemon) | 494 comments I only have ONE book on my TBR list, though. When I read it I will have zero. :)

Too bad I'm binge reading a banned book now. I can recommend it as I read it when it came out in 1974 - The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

I'll probably finish it tomorrow! DONE

The Chocolate War (Lions S.) by Robert Cormier

But I'm sure i'll find another one by September!

message 3: by Anne ✨ (last edited Aug 26, 2018 08:50PM) (new)

Anne ✨ Finds Joy (annefindsjoy) | 718 comments Jazzy wrote: "I'm binge reading a banned book ...I can recommend it as I read it when it came out in 1974 - [book:The C..."

Thanks for the rec, Jazzy, I hadn't heard of it, would like to read that for sure. I like how Penguin Random House says:
"One of the most controversial YA novels of all time, The Chocolate War is a modern masterpiece that speaks to fans of S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and John Knowles’s A Separate Peace. After suffering rejection from seven major publishers, The Chocolate War made its debut in 1974, and quickly became a bestselling—and provocative—classic for young adults. This chilling portrait of an all-boys prep school casts an unflinching eye on the pitfalls of conformity and corruption in our most elite cultural institutions."

message 4: by Jazzy (last edited Aug 30, 2018 10:17AM) (new)

Jazzy Lemon (jazzylemon) | 494 comments It was never written "YA", he just wrote the story. It happened to have students in it so it got knocked down to the nursery.

The true genre is bildugsroman.

Bildugsroman is a novel dealing with one person's formative years or spiritual education.
"the book is a bildungsroman of sorts, as Tull overcomes his abused childhood and learns about love."

The Chocolate War is based on an incident with Cormier's son who had refused to sell chocolates for the school. In his case nothing bad had happened, but Cormier had envisioned where it could all go wrong and wrote this book.

It has been banned several times.


1981 - Michigan - Challenged and temporarily removed from the English curriculum in two Lapeer high schools because of "offensive language and explicit descriptions of sexual situations in the book."

1982 - Maryland - Removed from Liberty High School in Westminster for language, violence, and degradation of schools and teachers

1983 - Rhode Island - Challenged at the Richmond High School as being deemed "pornographic" and "repulsive"


Arizona - Removed from Lake Havasu High School freshman reading list. The school board said the teachers were not setting good examples, fostering disrespect in the classroom and failing to support the board.

South Carolina - Banned from the Richland Two School District middle school libraries in Columbia due to language but later reinstated for eighth graders.


New York - Challenged at Cornwall High School as "Humanistic and destructive of religious and moral beliefs and of national spirit"

Pennsylvania - Banned from the Stroudsburg High School library for being "blatantly graphic, pornographic, and wholly unacceptable for a high school library"


Florida - Removed from Panama City school classrooms for language

Massachusetts - Challenged at Barnstable High School in Hyannis for profanity, masterbation and sexual fantasies, and "ultimately for its pessimistic ending." The novel fostered negative impressions of authority, schools, and religious schools.

1987 - California - Challenged at Moreno Valley Unified School District libraries for profanity, sex, and themes that encourage disrespectful behavior.

1988 - Florida - West Hernando Middle School principal recommended all Cormier's books removed.


Connecticut - Challenged as suitable curriculum material in Harwinton and Burlington schools for profanity and setting bad examples and giving negative views of life

New Hampshire - Suspended from classroom use at Woodsville High School in Haverhill for language, masturbation, sexual fantasies, and derogatory characterizations of a teacher and religious communities

1992 - Connecticut - Challenged at New Milford for language, sex, violence, subjectivity, and negativism

1993 - Arizona - Challenged at Kyrene elementary for masturbation


Georgia - Returned to the Hephzibah High School in Augusta after lack of educational content and a parent said "If they ever send a book like that home with one of my daughters again I will personally burn it and throw the ashes on the principal's desk."

New York - Challenged at Hudson Falls schools for rape, masturbation, violence, and degrading treatment of women


Massachusetts - Challenged at Nauset Regional Middle School in Orleans for profanity and sexually explicit language

Pennsylvania - Challenged at Stroudsburg school sytstem that the book will "foster disobedience."


California - Removed in Riverside Unified School District as inappropriate for seventh and eighth grade to read without sclass discussion for mature themes, sexual situations, and smoking

Pennsylvania - Removed from East Stroudsburg after complaints for language and content


Oklahoma - Banned from Broken Arrow schools as the "antithesis of the district's character development curriculum."

Texas - Removed from Greenville Intermediate School library for "blasphemy, profanity, and graphic sexual passages"

1999 - New York - Challenged on required reading list at Colton schools for masturbation, profanity, disrespect of women, and sexual innuendo


Colorado - Challenged at Silverheels Middle School's supplemental reading material in South Park after parents objected to sexually suggestive language

Massachusetts - Challenged on the eighth grade reading list at Lancaster School District for language and content

Ohio - Challenged at Maple Heights School for teaching immorality

Pennsylvania - REtained as optional reading at Rice Avenue Middle School in Girard after a grandmother found the book offensive and didn't want her grandchild reading it.

Virginia - Challenged in York County due to sexually explicit language


Florida - Challenged but retained at the Dunedin Highland Middle School in St. Petersburg after objections of profanity, masturbation, sexual fantasy, and segments of the book that were considered denigrating to girls

Ohio - Challenged at a Beaver Local Board of Education in Lisbon as "pornographic"

2002 - Virginia - Challenged along with seventeen other tiles in Fairfax County elementary and secondary libraries by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools after the group contended the book had profanity, drug abuse, sexually explicit content, and torture.


Connecticut - Challenged and retained at King Philip Middle School in West Hartford parents thought it was unsuitable, had language, sexual content, and violence

North Carolina - Challenged for "vulgar and sexually explicit language" by Wake County parents who received support of the ban from Called2Action, a Christian group that says its mission is to “promote and defend our shared family and social values.”


Indiana - Challenged at Coeur d'Alene School District after parents say the book should require parental permission.

Illinois - Challenged at required reading at John H Kinzie Elementary School in Chicago

Maryland - Removed from Harford County High School because it's message of bullying is overshadowed by vulgar language including homophobic slurs. In Nov. 2007, the superintendent reversed the decision.

Ohio - Challenged at Northridge School in Johnstown because "if these books were a movie, they would be rated R. Why should we be encouraging them to read these books?"

Oregon - Lake Oswego junior high school because the novel is “peppered with profanities, ranging from derogatory slang terms to sexual encounters, and violence.”

Oh my! I don't know about you but all these reasons for banning it just make me want to read it even more!

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