chapter  32
12 Pages

Censorship: Book Challenges, Challenging Books, and Young Readers

ByChristine A. Jenkins

In this chapter, I examine the censorship of young people’s literature and the published research about it. Many people are not aware of the prevalence of challenges to the right to read in contemporary America. Censorship is associated in the minds of many with dramatic scenes of book burning

in other countries or in the past. Further, when people do think of censorship today, they may think fi rst of controversies over rap music lyrics, potty-mouthed radio talk show hosts, or X-rated fi lms. Rarely are cases of attempted book censorship covered as major news stories. The vignettes offered below indicate, however, that challenges to young people’s reading options are anything but rare.