CLP Teens Blog


Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Reason for Challenge: Sexual Content

Let’s start of by saying that even if you’re not a fan of romance or vampires you should still check out this series.  The Twilight series is a modern tale of forbidden love between a 17-year-old girl named Bella Swan and, or course, a 117-year-old vampire named Edward.  Bella is a klutzy girl with a reputation for falling and such.  However, she’s both smart and brave and is not one to be a wussy.  Edward is quiet and reserved, seeing as he’s, well, a vampire and is having a hard time not feaston on everyone’s blood.  Edward and the rest of the Cullens are what you might call, “vegetarian vampires” because of their belief not to drink human blood (only animal).  Bella moves to a rainy little town called Forks and immediately notices a family of five incredibly beautiful people named the Cullens.  Soon Bella gets to know, and eventually love, Edward Cullen, and he finds the scent of her irresistable.  As Bella would rather die than be away from Edward, and his Passion for her could at anytime overwhelm him and he could kill her on the spot, you can just imagine the story that follows.  The thing captures me most is the author makes the story so real and believable taht you can imagine yourself playing the part of one of the characters.  All in all, it’s a great fantasy love story, even though I might not agree with all of the complete freaking out over Edward.  Meh, I’m a dude, you know?  It’s definitely work at least a look into the first book — there are four of them.

Review by Jack, age 13

Go back to Teen Banned Books webpage

Posted by: | filed under Banned Books Week, BBW Teen Review

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How many did you get right?  If you answered all or most correctly, you might win a prize!  Correct answers are in red.

Banned Book Week Quiz

1. A banning is:

Writing a critical review in Amazon or GoodReads

Telling a friend not to buy a book or movie

An attempt to remove or restrict materials based upon the objections of  a person or group.

A removal of those materials

2. Banned Book Week  is:

September 26-October 3,  2009

December 25, 2009-January 1, 2010

March 6-13, 2010

Whenever a book is banned.

3. Which of these authors have been among the most challenged in the past: (Choose all that apply.)

Gary Paulsen

Dav Pilkey

Maurice Sendak

S.E. Hinton

4. The Most Frequently Challenged Authors for 2008 include: (Choose all that apply.)

Judy Blume

Alvin Shwartz

Philip Pullman

J.K. Rowling

5. Which of these books are among the most challenged in the past:

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

6. Classics that have been banned include : (Choose all that apply):

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Call of the Wild by Jack London

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

7. The division of the American Library Association that compiles lists of most frequently challenged books is:

The American Civil Liberties Union

Office of Intellectual Freedom

Chapter Relations Committee

National Endowment for the Arts

8. They have been keeping lists of challenged books since:





9. Over the past eight years, the number of challenges reported to this group was:





10. The most challenged book in 2008 was:

We Did Porn: Memoirs and Drawings


And Tango Makes Three

Nightmare Alley

11.  And Tango Makes Three is about:

A ménage a trois

Dirty Dancing

A sex ring in Buenos Aires

Penguins at the Central Park Zoo

12.  Put the  reasons for challenging  books  in order of frequency (1 is most challenged, 2, second most, etc.):

1.  Sexually Explicit

2. Offensive Language

3. Unsuited to Age

4. Homosexuality

5. Sexist

13.  What frequency were challenges made to public libraries (as opposed to schools, school libraries, college libraries etc.)

8 out of 10


One out of four

One  out of 10

14.  Challenges were most often made by

School boards



Public library patrons

Go back to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Teen Banned Books webpage

Posted by: | filed under Banned Books Week

Whispers from the Dead by Joan Lowery Nixon

Challenged or Banned For: Dealing with the occult.

Although a bit dated because it was written in 1989—before the popularity of cell phones, the Internet and solid DNA testing, this book will leave you on the edge of your seat. Sarah Darnell, 16, just moved to a new house in a new city. But there’s something not quite right with this house and this neighborhood. In the new house Sarah gets a bad feeling. She  hears a voice crying and weeping to her in Spanish. The neighbors hesitate to go into Sarah’s new house. Her parents bought the house for a bargain price. It’s the most beautiful place that Sarah and her family has ever lived so Sarah decides to keep her feelings to herself. After all, when she almost drowned in Missouri, she started having bad feelings and beings seemed to follow her around.  It creeped out her family and friends which made Sarah feel like a freak. Then her  father finds out why the house was so cheap;  there was a murder at the new house. Could the voice that Sarah hears be that of the murder victim crying out for help? Sarah pledges to help the girl. But how does she help someone whom she can’t understand. She’s going to have to find someone to help her translate without raising too much suspicion. And to complicate things even more, Dee Dee, the next door neighbor who speaks Spanish is a gossip. She tells her friend Eric everything that is happening.  Before long, Eric gets a guy named Tony involved. Who is Tony and why does he have such power over Sarah?

Review by Barb, CLP – Allegheny

Go back to the Banned Books webpage

Posted by: | filed under Banned Books Week, BBW Teen Review

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

Banned or Challenged For: Racism and Offensive Language

TJ Jones is not your average high school student. TJ Jones is a super-athlete. He can play any sport and all the jocks want him to join their teams. But for a lot of reasons, he does not play any school sports. TJ (The Tao is his legal name) Jones is part black, part Japanese and part white in a part of the country where the majority of residents are pure white. And many of those same residents are racists. TJ’s learned to live with it. But just because TJ’s learned to live with it, it doesn’t mean that he accepts it. And just because he can take all the racists remarks that are directed at him, doesn’t mean that he will let anyone judge or degrade someone else. And because of this philosophy, he gets coaxed into joining the school’s swim team.  The school has no pool and only he is a real swimmer. Because letter jackets are the status symbol at Cutter High, TJ decides that he is going to assemble a bunch of misfits to join the swim team and get every one of his teammates a letter jacket.  Throughout the year, this band of misfits becomes somewhat of a family and hopefully, they will form friendships that last a lifetime. Whale Talk is packed with action, romance, drama, tragedy and comedy.  It’s a must read for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider looking in.

Barb Lawler

CLP – Allegheny

Go back to the Banned Books webpage

Posted by: | filed under Banned Books Week, BBW Staff Review