OIF’s updated hit list of banned and challenged children's books
For Immediate Release
American Library Association
CHICAGO — In our polarized environment, the censorship and outright banning of children’s books which some deem to be controversial or objectionable remains a major concern for libraries. Intellectual freedom champion Pat R. Scales returns to the fray with “Books under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children's Books, Second Edition,” published by ALA Editions in cooperation with ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). In this matchless guide, updated to focus on titles published since 2015 which have been the target of challenges, school and public librarians, LIS students, and classroom educators will get the assistance and support they need to defend challenged books with an informed response while ensuring access to young book lovers. For each of the dozens of titles covered, readers will find:
- a book summary;
- a report of the specific challenges;
- quotes from reviews, plus a list of awards and accolades;
- talking points for discussing the book's issues and themes;
- links to the book's website, additional resources about the book, and suggested further reading; and
- read-alikes that have been challenged for similar reasons.
Scales is a retired middle and high school librarian whose programs have been featured on The Today Show and in various professional journals. She has also served as an adjunct instructor of children’s and young adult literature at Furman University and has been a guest lecturer at universities across the nation. A First Amendment advocate, she is a former chair of ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee and serves on the Board of Advisors of the National Coalition against Censorship. She is a past president of the Association of Library Service for Children, and in 2011 received the Distinguished Service Award. She chaired the 1992 Newbery Award Committee, the 2003 Caldecott Award Committee, and the 2001 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award Committee. She writes for Book Links magazine and a bimonthly column for School Library Journal. Her other books include “Teaching Banned Books: 32 Guides for Children and Teens” and “Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your School Library.”
ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is charged with implementing the intellectual freedom policies of the American Library Association through educating librarians and the public about the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association's basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. In order to meet its educational goals, the Office undertakes information, support, and coordination activities.
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