Books Under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children's Books

for Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). 232p. appendix. bibliog. index. ALA Editions. 2015. pap. $47. ISBN 9780838911099. LC 2014023945.
A resource for librarians looking to connect kids with challenged books and discuss the issues behind challenges. Thirty-four challenged titles are presented with clear and concise summaries which include several quotes from reviewers; straightforward, factual, and fascinating challenge details; awards and accolades; connections to a wealth of further reading, listening or viewing; well-constructed discussion questions to use with students; and a few related books. Titles include classics such as Judy Blume's Blubber (Bradbury, 1974), Avi's The Fighting Ground (HarperCollins, 1984), and Betty Greene's Summer of My German Solider (Dial, 1973) as well as newer titles such as Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games (Scholastic, 2008), Dav Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" series (Scholastic), and Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Little, Brown, 2007). Appendices include resources for teaching kids about the first amendment, a bibliography of professional titles about censorship, the rankings of children's and young adult books in the top 100 most challenged books from 2000 to 2009, lists of children's classics, and a list of Caldecott and Newbery books and why they have been challenged.
VERDICT Any youth librarian that has this title within easy reach will be ready to program with challenged materials, discuss intellectual freedom issues with kids and grown ups, and respond intelligently to book challenges.

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