Banned Books

Remembering Toni Morrison

By |2019-08-07T10:59:57-04:00August 6th, 2019|Blog|

Joan Bertin (former executive director, NCAC), Toni Morrison, Fran Lebowitz “The thought that leads me to contemplate with dread the erasure of other voices, of unwritten novels, poems whispered or swallowed for fear of being overheard by the wrong people, outlawed languages flourishing underground, essayists’ questions challenging authority never being posed, unstaged plays, canceled films—that thought is a nightmare. As [...]

NCAC Criticizes Politically Motivated Removal of ‘Jacob’s New Dress’ From North Carolina Lesson Plan

By |2017-06-20T15:32:27-04:00April 4th, 2017|Blog|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and 6 other organizations committed to defending the right to read are urging a North Carolina school district to reinstate a children’s book in a 1st grade anti-bullying lesson plan after it was removed following pressure from local Republican lawmakers concerned about its gender-nonconforming themes.

Literary Classics Removed from High-School’s Alternative Reading List in Alaska

By |2017-06-09T12:29:59-04:00February 27th, 2017|Blog|

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, and Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian were flagged for "explicit, graphic" content.

NCAC Defends the Glass Castle over Concerns of ‘Disturbing’ Content; UPDATE: Review Committee Votes in Favor of Keeping the Book

By |2017-06-09T12:44:50-04:00February 17th, 2017|Blog|

A formal complaint was lodged by a local parent who was offended by the presence of profanity in the book, which includes passages that reference sexual assault.

OIF urges Alamogordo, N.M, schools to reinstate Gaiman’s “Neverwhere”

By |2016-02-03T11:36:34-04:00October 16th, 2013|Blog|

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom has sent a letter to the superintendent of the Alamogordo, N. M., Public Schools, asking that the district rescind its removal of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere from Alamogordo High School classrooms and the library. The ban, which was reported last week, came after a parent complained about content on one page […]

Marjane Satrapi to CPS: ‘Find your Brain Again. Stop Lying’

By |2016-01-14T12:18:10-04:00April 9th, 2013|Blog|

Khury Petersen-Smith of caught up with Persepolis author Marjane Satrapi to talk about the shady restrictions being placed on the teaching of her book in Chicago. Again, Satrapi showed her insight and savvy and aptly expressed the utter confusion and dismay we are all feeling: What is so horrible in my book that you need guidance? Am I inviting people to [...]

Chicago Public Schools Demands ‘Persepolis’ Be Removed from Classrooms

By |2019-03-07T21:51:21-04:00March 18th, 2013|Blog|

Photo by Chris Walker/ Chicago Tribune Teachers and students gathered outside Lane Tech College Prep in the freezing rain Friday for a spirited protest. "Honk if you love free speech," and "Closing Schools. Banning Books. What's next?" students' signs read. The protest was organized in response to the revelation that the Chicago Public School Board had evidently mandated [...]

5 Books They Dont Want You Reading: Black History Month Edition

By |2019-03-15T16:23:46-04:00February 20th, 2013|Blog|

Despite receiving accolades ranging from the National Book Award to the Pulitzer, these five notorious novels have been banned by schools across the United States. Their Eyes Were Watching God —Zora Neal Hurston, 1937 "Their Eyes Were Watching God" is a bildungsroman about a young Black woman growing up in the Deep South. In 1997 parents in Brentsville, Virgina attempted to [...]

Banning Books, Excluding Thoughts: An Animated Music Video

By |2019-03-20T13:24:23-04:00February 1st, 2013|Blog|

Combining a number of genres, Daniel Pritchard sends a unified message: ideas should be free to be shared and absorbed. Daniel is one of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest semifinalists. Like what you see? "Like" this video on YouTube and it could become our 2012 People's Choice Award Winner!

Ban Harry Potter? This Teen Won’t Stand for It!

By |2019-03-20T13:24:09-04:00February 1st, 2013|Blog|

April Jackson dramatizes a story about her sister, who was told by their mother she wasn't allowed to read Harry Potter because it contained witchcraft. April's short film is one of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest semifinalists. Like what you see? "Like" this video on YouTube and it could become our 2012 People's Choice Award Winner!

Watch “Redacted” A Short Teen Film About Book Censorship

By |2019-03-20T13:24:06-04:00January 30th, 2013|Blog|

Sarah Grabman and Evan Horowitz submitted their whimsical reflection on how the censoring impulse can even seep into your own head and self-perfection. This film is one of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest semifinalists. Like what you see? "Like" this video on YouTube and it could become our 2012 People's Choice Award Winner!

YFEP Film Contest, “You’re Reading WHAT?!?!” Deadline Extended!

By |2019-03-20T13:24:01-04:00October 15th, 2012|Blog|

Teen Free Speech Fighters! There's still time to enter the Youth Free Expression Project's annual film contest and potentially win $1,000 cash prize and a $5,000 scholarship to the New York Film Academy. We've extended the deadline to November 25, so get out your cameras and tell us a creative story about a time where an adult or other individual [...]

Remembering Banned Book Crusaders: Barney Rosset

By |2019-02-25T12:37:25-04:00October 4th, 2012|Blog|

 “If you have freedom of speech, you have freedom of speech,” publishing legend Barney Rosset was quoted as saying. Rosset was responsible for the publication of many celebrated works of American literature, especially those that pushed the envelope in terms of sexual content. A staunch defender of the freedom to read, Rosset risked his reputation, business, and life on his [...]

Video: Adorable Children Reading From Banned Books

By |2019-03-15T18:23:16-04:00October 4th, 2012|Blog|

On September 23, we brought our Banned Books Library to the Brooklyn Book Fest and let passersby read to us from some of their favorite titles. Better than cat videos, that's for sure! Check out the whole playlist on our YouTube channel. Want to participate in the Banned Books Week Virtual Readout? Shoot your own video! Click here for more [...]

Read the ACLU of Texas’ Banned Books Report

By |2019-03-07T13:23:40-04:00October 3rd, 2012|Blog|

The ACLU of Texas published their 16th annual Banned Books Report for the occasion of Banned Books Week this week and it both looks amazing and has great content. In addition to detailed information about books that were challenged and banned across the state in 2012, the report has a great interview with writer and activist Tony Diaz. Diaz joined NCAC and [...]

Graphic Novel “Sidescrollers” Cut from Enfield Summer Reading List

By |2019-03-14T17:46:34-04:00September 5th, 2012|Blog|

A parent of an incoming freshman in Enfield, CT took a complaint about the graphic novel Sidescrollers to the district Board of Education and succeeded in having the book axed from the list. In addition, the board decided to take responsibility for creating the reading list out of the hands of its teachers and funnel it through a board committee and [...]

Missourian Publishes “Unfit to Read” Banned Book Project

By |2019-03-14T17:46:47-04:00August 29th, 2012|Blog|

A belated update, but one worth taking a second look at if you've seen it already. Missouri School of Journalism Associate Professor Charles Davis organized a group of students in working on an awesome project about book challenges in schools from across the state. Using Freedom of Information Act Requests, the participants gathered data on censorship issues in Missouri and [...]

News Round-up: Book Challenges, Huck Finn Racism and Whoopi

By |2019-03-14T17:47:17-04:00July 17th, 2012|Blog|

The news is blossoming today with book challenge-related stories, and we thought we'd take a moment to share. 1.) A teacher's aide in Dubuque, Iowa was fired (though she apparently about to quit anyway) after disrupting classes by insisting that Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a racist book that shouldn't be taught in schools. Afterward, a judge [...]

(Banned) Books that Shaped America at LOC

By |2016-01-15T10:47:16-04:00June 22nd, 2012|Blog|

On June 25, the Library of Congress will open its summer exhibit "Books That Shaped America."  The exhibit will be on display through the end of September in the Southwest Gallery, located on the second floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, DC. Many books on the list of notable tomes won't surprise you. And it certainly didn't surprise [...]

Goodbye Jean Craighead George, “Julie of the Wolves” author

By |2019-03-07T23:31:55-04:00May 17th, 2012|Blog|

It's been a rough week for the world of arts and letters--Maurice Sendak, Carlos Fuentes, now Donna Summer. And the great and prolific author Jean Craighead George, who died yesterday at the age of 92. I doubt Craighead George's name is as immediately recognizable to the general public, but as one of the many people who grew up on her [...]

Three Cheers for Broken Arrow School Board!

By |2019-03-15T17:10:50-04:00May 17th, 2012|Blog|

After a busy week working to fight back against book bans and challenges, we were thrilled to see some good news. A Tulsa school district recently heard a parent's challenge to the book Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford.  The parent who challenged the book called the book "vulgar, vulgar, vulgar," objecting to its references to masturbation, pornography and an [...]

Video: “Fifty Shades of Grey” Fans Speak Out Against Library Ban

By |2019-03-07T23:31:52-04:00May 11th, 2012|Blog|

We spoke to fans of Fifty Shades of Grey about libraries that have banned their beloved trilogy, and erotica in general. This video was shot at an appearance by Grey author E.L. James at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in NYC. What do you think about libraries that have chosen to exclude all erotica, even while they carry works [...]

US Government, Sponsor of Book Censorship

By |2016-01-14T12:56:34-04:00January 24th, 2011|Blog|

NCAC occasionally publishes guest blogs on topics related to free speech. The views in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official position of NCAC, however they raise important issues for discussion. By Vel Nirtist How do you keep the unwashed masses known as the "public" from highly prestigious and quite remunerative pursuit known as "public debate" which rightly belongs [...]

Song of Solomon Prevails in Franklin Township!

By |2019-03-07T23:19:46-04:00July 9th, 2010|Blog|

After a long and drawn-out challenge process, this week Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon finally prevailed in Franklin Township!  The denouement to this extended drama came down to a special convening of the Franklin Township school board set for this past Monday evening (July 6th).  No one knew how it would turn out.  New members of the school board, whose [...]

“Christian Taliban” to Host Halloween Book and Music Burning

By |2016-01-14T15:38:40-04:00October 15th, 2009|Blog|

The Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina will be spending this Halloween burning books and music its deemed Satan's work - including all non-King James versions of the Bible. Attendees will enjoy barbeque chicken and all the sides while they burn works written by the Pope and Mother Teresa among others. Pastor Marc Grizzard says there is a [...]

Kids’ Right to Read Project Opposes Censorship in Ohio Schools

By |2019-03-07T23:01:08-04:00October 5th, 2009|Blog|

On September 29th, Wyoming City Schools' School Board voted to back Superintendent, Gail Kist-Kline's plan to re-evaluate every non-textbook teachers recommend to students. Staff members will now be asked to rate books based on a new 4-point criteria, which inclues the extent to which a book "could create controversy among students, parents and community groups. However, removing books from reading [...]