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Welcome to our Learning Commons!
Banned/Challenged Books in the CHSS Library
Here are examples of some of the banned/challenged books in our library. To find more search our library catalogue.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Also a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic. The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up. A #1 New York Times best seller for more than a year, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults (2000) and Best Book for Reluctant Readers (2000), and with millions of copies in print, this novel for teen readers (or “wallflowers” of more-advanced age) will make you laugh, cry, and perhaps feel nostalgic for those moments when you, too, tiptoed onto the dance floor of life.
The Giver by Lois Lowry's The Giver is the quintessential dystopian novel, followed by its remarkable companions, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.
Freedom to Read Week 2017
In Canada, the Book and Periodicals Council has created the Freedom to Read project. It is their goal to raise awareness of issues related to censorship in Canada. They keep track of Canadian challenges to written materials. In 2020, Freedom to Read Week is Feb. 23 to Feb. 29.
Defending Your Freedom to Read
We often take for granted our right and freedom to read whatever we choose. However, each year this right is challenged by organizations, community groups or individuals who ask to have books and magazines removed from schools or library shelves.
The ALA (America Library Association) has made it one of their goals to promote the freedom to express one's opinion and and the freedom of others to read that opinion. Their Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles lists of the hundreds of books that are banned/challenged each year:
Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009
Challenges are not limited to new publications. Often books that are considered some of the best of all-time, also create the most controversy. Checkout the following list:
Banned and Challenged Classics
In honor of the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, the ALA created a timeline outlining some of the most notable challenges of the last three decades:
Timeline: 30 Years of Liberating Literature
John Green Talks about the Banning of Looking For Alaska
Your challenge is to read one of the banned/challenged books available in your school library and think critically about the reason why this book may create controversy. Ask yourself:
What about this book could be considered offensive or inappropriate?
Is it the language, the storyline or the ideas presented?
Should this book be removed from the school library or curriculum?
You will be asked to write a persuasive piece in which you will express your opinions about the book.