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FYS Censored! Banned! Blocked! Information Access Today

Banned Book Project

Introduction

There were more books banned from school libraries and curriculums in the United States last year than ever before. This semester, you will be selecting a banned book to read and research. After reviewing sources related to the challenged content within the book, you will make an educated decision to either oppose or support banning the book. At the end of the semester, you will present your decision in class.

Challenged Book: A book that has been put up for consideration for removal from a library or classroom, usually due to content the challenger finds objectionable.

Banned Book: A book that has been successfully removed from a library or classroom.

We will be working on various elements of this project throughout the semester, primarily relating to gathering your resources and developing a bibliography. There will be staged due dates, each with their own instructions and requirements which will be shared as the individual parts are assigned.

Books must be selected by September 6th and read by September 20th.

 

Book Selection

Criteria
  • The book must be new to you. Do NOT select a book that you have read/seen the movie before.
    • Most challenges originate from someone who has never read the book. That’s where you should start too.
  • The book must have been banned or challenged in the United States.
  • The intended audience must be at least 12 years of age.
    • Young adult and adult books are both acceptable.
  • The book may be either fiction or nonfiction.
    • Narrative nonfiction, novels, graphic novels, anthologies, poetry compilations, and scripts are allowed.
  • Only one student may read each book.
    • Sign up your selection below, or by emailing the instructor.
    • You may change your selection until 9/6.
  • Unsure if your book fits the criteria? Ask!

 

Before you read the book!

Before you read the book, write a paragraph with your gut reaction to both the book and the challenge. Based solely on the accusations or reasons for the challenge and the publisher’s summary of the book, do you think the book should be banned? This paragraph will be submitted as part of an assignment on 9/6.

 

While you read…

Consider flagging with sticky notes what you think might be considered controversial content. It’s not uncommon for quotes to be used out of context in book challenges, so it will be helpful to know where they were in the book. You might also consider taking notes.