Elizabeth U. sent in a link to an interactive database that shows requests to have books removed from public and school libraries between 2007 and 2009. Here’s a screenshot showing all requests; at the website you can hover over each point and see what the book was, the basis of the challenge, and in many cases the result:
I looked through quite a few of them. The most common reasons for challenges that I noticed are language and claims that the books are “pornographic.” Several cases seem to target books about sexual health. And Rudolfo Anaya’s book Bless Me, Ultima was challenged in at least two places for being “anti-Catholic.” I remember reading it as a teen and don’t remember that at all, but then, I had only the vaguest notion of Catholicism at the time, so I probably wouldn’t have noticed.
The most disturbing account I found:
Tuscola, Texas (2007) Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God was removed from the Jim Ned High School’s library’s order list after complaints from the parents of a student who also filed complaints against a teacher with the local sheriff, claiming that the book’s content was ‘harmful to minors’ under state law. The parents objected to violence, sexual themes and profanity in the book. After meeting with the teacher, the parents were unsatisfied and registered an official complaint with the sheriff’s office, leading to the teacher being placed on paid, administrative leave. NCAC, ABFFE and the NCTE sent a letter to the superintendent and school board opposing the ban and the community’s actions.
Filing a formal criminal complaint with the sheriff, leading to a teacher being put on administrative leave? I find that terrifying.
And sorry for my absence the last few days! I’m moving and the internet got cut off at my old place earlier than I asked, so I had no internet all weekend. Also, I leased a horse! My life is now complete, but it is interfering with all other activities since I spend every possible moment exploring the nearby desert on him.