How Well Do You Know Your Banned Books?

You might know which books have caused trouble, but do you know WHY? (Based on American Library Association information, found here.)

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  1. Scholastic
    "Holes" by Louis Sachar
    Aladdin Paperbacks
    "The View From Saturday" by E.L. Konigsburg
    Random House
    "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norman Juster
    Trumpet Club
    "Bridge To Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "Bridge To Terabithia"

    In 2002, residents of Cromwell, CT, called the book "satanic" and "a danger to our children" and asked that it be banned from middle school libraries. Other censors have pointed to the protagonist Jess' use of "Lord" as an expletive, Leslie's refusal to go to church, and their indulgence in a fantasy world as promotion of secular humanism or the occult.

    "Bridge To Terabithia" Trumpet Club
  2. Pocket Books
    "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky
    Vintage
    "Push" by Sapphire
    Bloomsbury Publishing
    "The Virgin Suicides" by Jeffrey Eugenides
    Penguin Books
    "The Secret Life Of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower"

    Reasoning? Take your pick: It was challenged on a Tampa, FL reading list in 2013 because “it deals with sexual situations and drug use"; in New York, in 2011, for "deal[ing] graphically with teenage sex, homosexuality, and bestiality"; or, in Roanoke, VA, its "explicit descriptions... of suicide and masturbation."

    "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower" Pocket Books
  3. Little, Brown and Company
    "Gossip Girl" by Cecily von Ziegesar
    Harry N. Abrams
    "ttyl" (Internet Girls series) by Lauren Myracle
    Delacorte
    "The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares
    Little, Brown and Company
    "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"

    The series about four friends and their shared pair of pants is squeaky clean enough to have pleased censors, readers, and readers' parents, unlike "Twilight", "Gossip Girl", and "ttyl" (among which there wasn't only sex, but also "offensive language," "violence," and "religious viewpoints.")

    "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" Delacorte
  4. Correct!
    Wrong!

    Side boob!

    The image, from the 1987 debut, of a topless sunbather being startled with some water was enough to get the book (and subsequent volumes) banned from school libraries across the country. The biggest problem? If you look closely at the side boob — which measures 1/16" in the actual book, so get real close — it apparently looks like a small black dot is an erect nipple.

    Side boob!
  5. William Morrow
    "Freakonomics" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
    Owl Books
    "Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich
    Back Bay Books
    "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell
    The Penguin Press
    "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America"

    Barbara Ehrenreich's look at low-wage America was unsuccessfully challenged after it was placed on an AP English reading list in Easton, PA for being “faddish,” of “no moral value,” and “obscene.”

    "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America" Owl Books
  6. Scholastic
    "Captain Underpants" (series) by Dav Pilkey
    Little, Brown
    Scholastic
    "The Hunger Games" (series) by Suzanne Collins
    Vintage
    "Fifty Shades Of Grey" (series) by E.L. James
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "Captain Underpants"

    With its offensive language (the villain is called "Mean Old Mr. Krupp," plus there are multiple references to underwear), partial nudity (again, the underpants), violence (against robots), and anti-authoritarian misbehavior (that one's right on the money), it's no wonder parents have been in an uproar over this graphic series for the past two years.

    "Captain Underpants" Scholastic
  7. Knopf
    "The Golden Compass" by Philip Pullman
    Scholastic
    "Scary Stories" (series) by Alvin Schwartz
    Scholastic
    "Harry Potter" (series) by J.K. Rowling
    Red Fox
    "In The Night Kitchen" by Maurice Sendak
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "In The Night Kitchen"

    Nope, it wasn't a "religious viewpoint" that made this children's classic one of the ten most-challenged books in 2004 — it was claims of its nudity, offensive language, and sex.

    "In The Night Kitchen" Red Fox
  8. Albert Whitman
    "My Mom's Having a Baby!: A Kid's Month-By-Month Guide to Pregnancy" by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Candlewick
    "It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health" by Robie H. Harris
    Candlewick
    "It's So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families" by Robie H. Harris
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    All of the above

    Duh. It's sex education! (And, depending on the book, it's homosexuality, nudity, abortion, or discussion of sexual content.) What's it doing in a place of education, like, you know, school?

  9. Scholastic
    "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
    Katherine Tegen
    "Divergent" by Veronica Roth
    Tors Science Fiction
    "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
    Delacorte
    "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    "The Hunger Games"

    The trilogy was especially problematic in 2011, with challenges claiming it wasn't just anti-ethnic and anti-family, but also that promoted insensitivity, offensive language, the occult, and violence. In 2010, one parent in Goffstown, NH even stated that it could "numb other students to the effects of violence."

    "The Hunger Games" Scholastic
  10. Toni Morrison
    MDCarchives / Creative Commons
    Toni Morrison
    Kurt Vonnegut
    Flickr: david_terrar / Creative Commons
    Kurt Vonnegut
    Ernest Hemingway
    Lloyd Arnold
    Ernest Hemingway
    John Steinbeck
    John Steinbeck
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Ernest Hemingway

    Hemingway's authored three frequently-challenged classics ("The Sun Also Rises", "A Farewell To Arms", and "For Whom The Bell Tolls") but Steinbeck, Morrison, and Vonnegut aren't far behind with two books each.

    Ernest Hemingway Lloyd Arnold

How Well Do You Know Your Banned Books?