By Ledyard King, Gannett News Service Many books have been either challenged or banned in libraries and schools across the country. Author Judy Blume's Forever, published in 1975, top,(pic left above), deals with teenage sexuality and has been the target of censors often. By Heather Wines, Gannett News Service
WASHINGTON — John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is on high school reading lists across the country. But the classic novel occasionally appears on another list as well — of books that some parents want pulled from shelves because of vulgar language, sexual content or some other reason.
Every year, public libraries and schools across the country collectively field hundreds of requests from parents, public officials and activists pressing for the removal of books they deem inappropriate. That includes literary classics, human sexuality manuals and, occasionally, even the dictionary, according to the American Library Association.
The American Library Association has logged more than 9,600 requests to remove books from library shelves, summer reading lists and school classrooms since 1990. The actual number is considerably higher, association officials say, because most challenges are handled quietly.