It's Banned Books Week, the annual week-long celebration of everyone's right to read whatever they choose! In this age of free flowing information it comes as a surprise to many that books are often challenged and/or banned in libraries and schools across the country. What is even more surprising are the titles that are targeted, such as Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.
Why are books challenged and/or banned?
What is the difference between a challenge and a ban?
Below is a short list of some of most frequently challenged children's books and the reasons they have been challenged and/or banned:
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Challenged because of a cigarette and ashtray present in the illustrations. Later editions of the book
have been digitally altered to remove those elements.
Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle
Contains nude illustration of a man and woman based on Adam and Eve.
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Challenged because of inappropriate language, magical elements, references to drugs
and alcohol and it encourages disobedience.
In the Night Kitchen and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The latter has been challenged for containing supernatural elements, witchcraft and showing a child
yelling at his mother, which was believed to promote disobedience. In the Night Kitchen has been
objected to because the main character, Mickey, is pictured nude.
Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
Challenged for encouraging children to use violence against their fathers.
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Banned and challenged because of concerns that the poems promote/glorify violence,
disobedience, Satan, cannibalism and suicide.
It’s A Book by Lane Smith
Banned in two Massachusetts school districts for the use of the word “jackass” in reference to the
donkey character at the end of the story.
Help fight censorship and preserve intellectual freedom by reading challenged/banned books and having meaningful discussions with your children about their rights and respecting the rights of others.
Words have power!
**All images are courtesy of the American Library Association**
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.