16:14 29 September 2010
There is increasing pressure from many parents in the US for schools to blacklist books that are deemed inappropriate.
These concerns have been highlighted by the American Library Association during Banned Books Week.
The Association revealed that, in 2009, there were 460 attempts to remove just one text from a classroom or library for containing bad language or sexual content.
Included on the list of most challenged books in 2009 were established literary classics such as; To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Catcher in the Rye written by J.D. Salinger, and AliceWalkers The Color Purple.
However opinions vary, with some parents fighting the ban, claiming it is their childrens right to be able to go into a library and pick out those books.
Harper Lees text has been challenged due to the use of bad language, but for most of the listed books, the issue is usually sex or sexuality.
Director of the office for intellectual freedom at the ALA, Barbara Jones, said: "I was shocked that anybody would find this book offensive.
One book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, faced controversy in Stockton, a small town in Missouri, despite it winning a National Book Award.
The inclusion of the text in lessons at a school in the town upset many parents, with one stating:
The book is full of vulgarity, profanity, obscenity and sexual explicitness involving minors," he says. "People around here, where it's pretty rural and conservative, they will go a long way, but this book was so far over the edge. It doesn't belong in a school."
Amongst those defending the book was Cheryl Marcum, who said:
It was one of the best books I've ever read in my life. The themes are pervasive poverty, alcoholism, bullying, racism and absolutely no hope. All of that applies to Cedar County [where Stockton is].
"We believe parents have every right and responsibility to monitor what their children read. But they don't have the right to prevent other children from reading books, particularly national award-winning books."
The school board voted to withdraw the book from the schools library and curriculum.
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