Please read one of the selections listed below and research the censorship history of the book(s).
Adventures of Captain Underpants (or another in the series) by Dav Pilkey
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Blubber by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Giver by Lois Lowry
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
The Witches by Roald Dahl
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Please reference the specific objections that have been made to the book, including specific details of
at least one challenge to the book (date and place as well as the objections); the historical context for
the controversy, if applicable; your judgment on the controversy (Do you agree with those challenging
the book? Disagree? Support your agreement or disagreement with examples from the book.
**I know that many of you are very busy reading Charlotte’s Web and preparing for the Final Exam. Therefore,
if you’re not looking to read another selection this semester, you might want to stick with Dav Pilkey’s work
(material we’re reading for Week 15 anyway).
• If your book has had multiple challenges spanning many years, pick a challenge or type of challenge
to respond to in your paper; do not spend half the paper listing every challenge ever made to your
• Plan ahead and get authoritative information on your book’s challenge. Believe me: last minute
Googling of this topic will yield non-authoritative sources.
• You must include the year and the place of the challenge you have chosen to respond to. If your
source does not include this information, it is not sufficiently authoritative.
o Please understand that sources such as Wikipedia, About.com, Dictionary.com, SparkNotes (or
other literature summary sites), and other sites should not be used as professional sources.
o Please use sources found from MJC’s library, journal list, and online periodical databases.
• The bulk of your paper should cover your judgement of the controversy. A short summary of the book
and an explanation of the challenge should be followed by your opinion about whether the book
should in fact be banned for children. Be detailed about WHY you think this book should be removed,
restricted, etc. or WHY you think it shouldn’t be. For help in thinking about book challenges, refer to
the readings in Week 16 (“What Makes a Good Banned Book”) and the website of the American
Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. Understanding the larger issues involved in
censorship will help you think creatively about this topic.
• Support your opinion with evidence from the book. For example, if you were defending Harriet
the Spy against challenges that it is disrespectful to adults, you might write about the scenes where Ole
Golly is so honest.
• Be sure to write a clear, accurate Works Cited page and match any sources on your works cited page
to their parenthetical citations within the text.
• MLA must be observed in formatting and documenting (both on your Works Cited page and
parenthetically—see resources in week 15)
• Please review plagiarism policies in syllabus and remember that plagiarism is not tolerated in any
form. Students found to be recycling previous material, copying or misusing copyrighted information,
using someone else’s work, and/or misleading their audience with ideas, evidence, or thoughts not
their own will be referred to the Dean of Literature and Language Arts and, if need be, the Vice
President of Instruction. Furthermore, students will forfeit a grade on the assignment or essay that has
Your essay is due at the end of Week 16 to Canvas.