Banned Books Week – Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Promoted by the American Library Association since 1982, the annual event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. The theme for 2017 is “Words have power. Read a Banned Book.” Demands to remove or restrict access to specific books in libraries are attempts to inflict the objections of a single person or group on everyone else. These four selections from the library collection have successfully withstood challenges at other libraries and are currently on display in the public reading area of the library. Please feel free to visit the library to review these or any other items of interest in the library and archives collections. For more details or additional collection information, click on the Search Catalog link located in the pull-down menu of the library tab on the Heard website.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
New York : Little, Brown, c2007
Retained on the summer reading list at Antioch, Ill. High School (2009) despite objections from several parents who found its language vulgar and racist. In response to concerns, however, the district forms a committee each March to review future summer reading assignments. The committee, which includes parents, decides whether parents should be warned if a book contains possibly objectionable material. ALA: Sept. 2009, p. 171.
Banned in 2009-2010; appeared on the Top Ten Challenged Books list in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010
Heard call number PS3551.L35774 A27 2007
New York : Penguin Books, 2011
Challenged at the Helena, Mont. High School (2007) because of disturbing descriptions of rape, mutilation, and murder. Supporters of the book say its literary value — specifically its insights into American Indian society and Montana history — outweighs the controversial passages. ALA: July 2007, p. 148.
Heard call number PS3573.E44 F66 2011
It Stops With Me: Memoir of a Canuck Girl
Santa Fe : Touch Art Books,  Removed from the Woonsocket Harris, R.I. Public Library shelves (2005) after the book was challenged by the author’s father. He wrote, “If members of a family wish to harm one another, those actions should be kept private and should not draw in others by involving matters of public policy.” The book was later returned to the shelves. ALA: March 2006, p. 91.
Heard call number N6537.T658 A2 2004
Anaya, Rudolfo A.
Bless Me, Ultima
New York : Warner Books, , c1972
Pulled by the Norwood, Colo. Schools superintendent (2005) after two parents complained about profanity in the book. The superintendent confiscated all of the copies of the book and gave them to the parents, who “tossed them in the trash.” The superintendent later apologized. Students organized an all–day sit–in at the school gym. President George W. Bush awarded Anaya the National Media of Arts in 2002. Former First Lady Laura Bush has listed the book as ninth on a list of twelve books that she highly recommends. ALA: Mar. 2005, p. 55.
Banned 2004-2005; appeared on the Top Ten Challenged Books list in 2013 and 2008.
Heard call number PS3551.N27 B58 1994
Challenge excerpts reprinted by permission of the American Library Association (ALA).