Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Banned Books in Canada

Canada will celebrate Freedom to Read Week February 22-28, 2015.
The latest compilation of Banned Books (2013) can be found here

The Annual Challenges Survey is a voluntary survey sponsored by the CLA, so readers are cautioned that the self-reports described here represent a subset of challenges that occur. In fact, the American Library Association (ALA) has estimated that there may be as many as 4 or 5unreported challenges for every challenge that is reported to them (“Frequently Challenged Books,” Office for Intellectual Freedom, on ALA’s website,; This under-reportage
phenomenon is thought to be greater in Canada.

Some of the books listed are:
Individual items – 1 challenge each:

Alligators All Around: An Alphabet ( Juv.S474A)
, by Maurice Sendak
- reasons: racism [The book contains racist caricatures of Indigenous peoples under the 'I'
section. It also reads ‘Imitating Indians’.] [BC]

Daddy's Roommate ( Juv.W715D)
, by Michael Willhoite
- reasons: homosexuality, age inappropriate [Book presents homosexuality as normal,
acceptable and even moral.] [ON]

Docteur Dog
, by Babette Cole
- reasons: age inappropriate[Smoking, teen smoking, including pictures; scratching private areas to describe taking care of one's health, including picture/illustration; bathroom humour,
could be objectionable. Remove or add a label.] [BC]

Hop on Pop
, by Dr. Seuss
- reasons: violence [Children hop on their father, are encouraged to use wanton violence against their fathers.] [ON]

How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets
, by Garth Stein
- reasons: homosexuality [‘alternative sexuality”], sexually explicit [“gross sexuality’],
offensive language, age inappropriate [AB]

If I Ran the Zoo
, by Dr. Seuss
- reasons: racism [BC]

It's a Book
, by Lane Smith
- reasons: age inappropriate,offensive language [A children's book with the last line, 'It's a
book, jackass' is not appropriate for 2-6 year olds . I don't want my 6-year-old to repeat that
line at school and get a detention. The concept and the rest of the language is adorable, funny,
and appropriate, but the subversive twist at the end makes it a picture book for grown-ups.][AB]

Je d├ęteste l'├ęcole ( I hate School) ( Juv, W734i)
, by Jeanne Willis
- reasons: age inappropriate [Illustrations scared grade 4 child (and patron herself).] [ON]

Spooky ABC (Juv.811.54 .M568H 2002)
, by Eve Merriam and Lane Smith
- reasons: occult, violence, age inappropriate,religious viewpoint, offensive [Violence and mention of Devil were found to be offensive.Letters ‘D’ and ‘I’ poems not very appropriate for kids to read, and quite honestly the whole book was not ok to read to a child of any age really. I don't know if it woul
d be useful to another child. Many other alphabet books available. This one just seemed

bad all across the board.] [BC] 

The Walking Dead ( Juv.W1868 v.1)
[part of a comic book series], by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and CharlieAdlard]
- reasons: violence, offensive language [profanity], age inappropriate for K-12 school [rated
17+ book] [AB]

More can be found at
There are also links from past years ( 2006-13).

Also Freedom to Read Week

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2013 Banned Books List

 Banned Books Week 2014  takes place September 21-27th

Each year, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.
A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported.

Here is the list of Frequently Challenged Books for 2013:
  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey(Juv. P638a)
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison (PS3563.08749 B55)
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence)
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (Juv. A3847a)
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group)
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    : Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (Juv. C7136)
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green (Juv. G7955L)
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (Juv.C513p)
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group)
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya  (PS3551. N27 B6)
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith (Juv.S6512b)
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence