It's Banned Books Week and the American Library Association is celebrating by posting an interactive map showing the books that have been banned around the country in 2007-2009. Viewers may be surprised to find a large cluster of these prohibited books in some of the bluest of the blue states.
Along with the locations of each reported book, the map also gives the titles and brief summaries of the cases against these books. The stories range from the predictable fears about magic-related books to the traditional opposition to classics like Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn (the book was re-allowed in the Manchester, CT classrooms that it had been taken out of after some protesting letters to a local newspaper).
Other books included on the map are And Tango Makes Three, a picture book about a penguin family with two dads, Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, for depictions of drugs, rape, and, yes, also homosexuality, and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy for its religious and political viewpoint. Check out the top ten banned books of 2008 at the ALA website.
For Banned Books Week events in your area and to find out what you can do to help, head over to the official Banned Books Week website.