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by Hannah Beach, staff writer


“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions,” reads the banner at the top of the glass display case at Meader Library at HPU’s downtown campus. The book case is displaying 35 banned books. The exhibit will last about two months and contains titles that have been either challenged or actually prohibited at other public and private schools and libraries but are available at HPU.

The 35 “forbidden” titles in Meader’s collection include Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, banned because the story has child molestation, and the children’s story James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl, banned because it is said to promote “drugs and disobedience.”
“I do intend to order more of these banned and challenged titles,” said Michelle Van Gieson, the manager of circulation services at Meader Library who selected these books based on a list provided by the ALA, which encourages people to read them.

The library celebrates “Banned Book Week” during the last week of September. This event was started by the association and is in its 26th year nationwide. During this week, cities across the United States hold special events such as readings, a pirate party for teens, and others.

For a title to be placed on the list of banned or challenged titles someone—parents, teachers, PTA’s, and school boards—must file a complaint with the ALA. Once this is done, the complaint will be registered with a school or library. Most common complaints are that titles are too sexually explicit or contain in appropriate language.

The difference between a banned title and a challenged title is that challenges are simply an attempt to have a book removed without success. A book is banned when the material is removed from the library or school.

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, is one of the library’s most controversial books from the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Book List provided by theALA because of the fact that it addresses issues of race and sexuality.

“ All students have access to all information to form their own opinions [and in] my opinion, [have] intellectual freedom,” said Van Gieson.

Meader Library’s circulation services is located on the third floor of the Lower Bishop building on 1060 Bishop Street. Students interested in borrowing one of the banned or challenged titles should ask a librarian to for the banned book section.


Banned Books

The following books are examples of books, which have been banned at one time or another in the United States:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Shining by Stephen King
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary





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