Banned Books Week: September 25- October 1, 2016
Indiana Authors who have been challenged or banned, making the lists of top challenged books. This does not include every Indiana author challenged.
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
There were 275 challenges recorded in 2015 by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom. John Green was #1 on the list of Top Ten Challenges throughout the country for his book Looking for Alaska. Books are challenged or banned for any number of reasons and can even vary by challenge; what one finds objectionable, another may see differently. This is not a new phenomenon; Mark Twain was banned while he was still living; his works are still challenged. Frequently challenged Indiana native Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five was not only banned in North Dakota in 1973, the book was ordered by the high school board to be collected and burned in the school’s incinerator. One might be surprised by the books that are challenged, from classics one may have read as a child or in high school such as Lassie and Of Mice and Men to popular books and series of today, from adult focused books to nonfiction books to children’s books and fairy tales. Even the dictionary has been challenged – in our state.
Kurt Vonnegut on censorship of his books (and in general):
“All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let’s get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States — and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!”