Dear Writers, Readers, Publishers, Civil Libertarians, and U.S. Citizens:
The ALA's Banned Books week is September 25-October 2.
To Kill a Mockingbird is #4. Huckleberry Finn is still on the list.
The Harry Potter books are the most banned books of the 21st century.

...For more info check the link:


These are books that were successfully banned around the country.  Most on the list seem to be adolescent books dealing with sexuality and/or alternative lifestyles.  The only "Crime" novel that I can recall from the list with immediancy is In Cold Blood.


Librarians, of course, believe in the "Freedom to Read" and oppose censorship.  We think patrons should be free to censor their own reading choices and parents (not librarians) should be the ones to monitor or allow what their own children read. Books should go on the shelves based on consistently applied (written) Board policies and procedures.  Decisions should not be based on popular opinion.  Policies should also include fair and accessible avenues for challenging books. 


I know several interesting stories of banned books, starting with the first controversial banning of The Grapes of Wrath in Bakersfield after its publication.  The growers said the book was "a pack of lies,"

yet there were 125 people on the waiting list for the book.  The book was not returned to that library's shelves until the 1960s.  There have been other idealistic, brave, principled librarians around the country who successfully confronted censorship.  Unfortunately, there must be many more who, pragmatically, (perhaps, for the greater good) need to keep their jobs and maintain the good will of their communities.  (As you cynical crime novelist must know is a realistic scenario.)

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Go for it! The Catholic church took primarily exception to the salacious tales that feature priests.
Right. Because that would never happen!
Just wanted y'all to realize it is Banned Books Week--because it is so amusing to see how threatened some people are by words on a page they can choose not to read and remind everyone it still happens in this country of such great civil liberties--and to see what discussion developed.
What we do need more of in this country is education, both in schools and in the home.

We sure do! Seems it's easier said than done...
I agree that parents should be able to decide what is suitable for their child or teen to read, not someone else. What really strikes me as funny, is that To Kill A Mockingbird is #4 on the list yet they teach it to high school students in english. What's with that? LOL
The problem is that the parents aren't well enough educated either. Note the hassles over the Harry Potter books.
Yes, a couple of years ago, a father of a young woman in a high school in Conroe, Texas (Montgomery County--north of Houston--the end point of the great Pine forest that stretches across the southern U.S--an area which many in Houston refer to as "Behind The Pine Curtain." ) publicly demanded that Fahrenheit 451 be banned from the school's library because of offensive language (DUH??--was not banned or removed from the library or reading list) To their credit, a few years prior to that, the Director of the Montgomery County Public Library received an ALA award for her successful defense of a banning challenge to an adolescent book in the public library on sexuality.
the parents aren't well enough educated either.

Ignorance is our greatest enemy. It breeds fear and literally boundless self-righteousness which in turn annihilates reasonable thinking.
When most people are in trouble, they'll try anything to hang onto their families

But Alan, if you love your family, and most of us do wouldn't you want them to stick around whether you were in trouble or not? And what sort of trouble is it that you are referring to here?
And what does hanging onto your family have to do with censorship, exactly? Trying to keep your kids from having open minds, from being curious, and from learning? That's an oppressive kind of love---protection from imagined threats.


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