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Banned Books Week: It can happen here

It’s too easy to think of book challenges in the abstract. The fact is it is something we confront even here.

If you take a look at a map showing documented challenges to books in schools and libraries in the United States, you’ll see South Dakota has two push pins.

In 2010, “Paul Shaffer’s We’ll […]

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Banned Books Week: Who should decide for whom?

As I’ve noted this week, one of the debates that’s going on is whether “banned” is a misleading word when it comes to what Banned Books Week is about. Cut to the bone, the question is basically whether restricting access to/removing a book a parent believes is age inappropriate is “banning” a book or censorship.

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Banned Books Week: Who is challenging books and why

The issue of challenging books is one that is unlikely to go away. After all, it has come up repeatedly in the 220 years the First Amendment has been part of the Constitution. But where are the challenges coming from, what prompts them and in what settings? That’s something the American Library Association has attempted […]

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Banned Books Week: Classical challenges

Given the culture wars over the last number of years, it can be relatively easy for a book to gin up more than a bit of angst. Maybe it’s suggestions of homosexuality. Perhaps the book takes a different or skeptical look at religion. Or maybe the story involves an abortion, although Richard Brautigan’s The Abortion […]

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Banned Books Week: Books challenged this year – Part II

As I wrote about yesterday, an August news story on book challenges in the schools had as a sidebar a list compiled by the American Library Association of 20 books “banned” by schools already this year. Yesterday’s post covered the first 10, listed alphabetically, and today I’ll take a look at the remaining 10.

I […]

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Banned Books Week: Books challenged this year – Part I

The debate over whether Banned Books week is propaganda or not continues. Before it started full bore, though, USA Today outlined the battle lines. Distilled to the simplest terms, the core question seems to be whether restricting access to/removing a book a parent believes is age inappropriate is “banning” a book or censorship, something I’ll […]

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