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Banned Book Research: Background Information

Background Information

Before researching a banned book, you will need some background information about the context of censorship. The articles listed in the "Banned Books in Context" section offer explanations of how and why books are banned, and some present the viewpoint that books should not be banned or censored. On the other hand, the article "Banned Books Protect Famly Values" supports censorship. Read at least one article from that section, as well as the article in support of censorship, then consider the following questions:

  • What is the difference between a challenge and a ban?


  • What are the goals of book banning?


  • Does censorship protect or limit freedom? How does the First Amendment fit in?


  • Do parents have the right to control or limit what a child reads?


  • Let’s say you object to a particular book, and want it banned from your school or public library. How might you start that process? What obstacles might you face?


  • Under what circumstances do you think it would be justified to ask for a book to be banned (if any)?


  • Pretend you are a librarian or bookseller. How would you react to a person who asks for a book to be banned?
Do you think that book banning violates the First Amendment?
Yes: 96 votes (68.09%)
No: 41 votes (29.08%)
Not sure: 4 votes (2.84%)
Total Votes: 141
After reading at least two articles, how do you feel about censorship?
I support censorship in certain cases: 53 votes (20.54%)
I don't think censorship is ever justified: 190 votes (73.64%)
I'm somewhere in the middle...: 10 votes (3.88%)
I haven't formed an opinion yet: 5 votes (1.94%)
Total Votes: 258