Previous Banned Book Weeks at Foothill College Library
Read a Banned Book Online
Note: These books are also available in print in the stacks.
Beloved by Toni MorrisonToni Morrison--author of Song of Solomon and Tar Baby--is a writer of remarkable powers: her novels, brilliantly acclaimed for their passion, their dazzling language and their lyric and emotional force, combine the unassailable truths of experience and emotion with the vision of legend and imagination. It is the story--set in post-Civil War Ohio--of Sethe, an escaped slave who has risked death in order to wrench herself from a living death; who has lost a husband and buried a child; who has borne the unthinkable and not gone mad: a woman of "iron eyes and backbone to match." Sethe lives in a small house on the edge of town with her daughter, Denver, her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, and a disturbing, mesmerizing intruder who calls herself Beloved. Sethe works at "beating back the past," but it is alive in all of them. It keeps Denver fearful of straying from the house. It fuels the sadness that has settled into Baby Suggs' "desolated center where the self that was no self made its home." And to Sethe, the past makes itself heard and felt incessantly: in memories that both haunt and soothe her...in the arrival of Paul D ("There was something blessed in his manner. Women saw him and wanted to weep"), one of her fellow slaves on the farm where she had once been kept...in the vivid and painfully cathartic stories she and Paul D tell each other of their years in captivity, of their glimpses of freedom...and, most powerfully, in the apparition of Beloved, whose eyes are expressionless at their deepest point, whose doomed childhood belongs to the hideous logic of slavery and who, as daughter, sister and seductress, has now come from the "place over there" to claim retribution for what she lost and for what was taken from her. Sethe's struggle to keep Beloved from gaining full possession of her present--and to throw off the long, dark legacy of her past--is at the center of this profoundly affecting and startling novel. But its intensity and resonance of feeling, and the boldness of its narrative, lift it beyond its particulars so that it speaks to our experience as an entire nation with a past of both abominable and ennobling circumstance. In Beloved, Toni Morrison has given us a great American novel. Toni Morrison was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Literature for Beloved.
Call Number: Stacks PS3563 .O8749 B4 1987
Publication Date: 1987
The Color Purple by Alice WalkerThis novel has been challenged many times for different reasons, including religious objections, homosexuality, violence, African history, rape, incest, drug abuse, explicit language, and sexual scenes.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this novel about a resilient and courageous woman has become a Broadway show and a cultural phenomenon. A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick Celie has grown up poor in rural Georgia, despised by the society around her and abused by her own family. She strives to protect her sister, Nettie, from a similar fate, and while Nettie escapes to a new life as a missionary in Africa, Celie is left behind without her best friend and confidante, married off to an older suitor, and sentenced to a life alone with a harsh and brutal husband. In an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear, Celie begins writing letters directly to God. The letters, spanning twenty years, record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment guided by the light of a few strong women. She meets Shug Avery, her husband's mistress and a jazz singer with a zest for life, and her stepson's wife, Sophia, who challenges her to fight for independence. And though the many letters from Celie's sister are hidden by her husband, Nettie's unwavering support will prove to be the most breathtaking of all. The Color Purple has sold more than five million copies, inspired an Academy Award-nominated film starring Oprah Winfrey and directed by Steven Spielberg, and been adapted into a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Lauded as a literary masterpiece, this is the groundbreaking novel that placed Walker "in the company of Faulkner" (The Nation), and remains a wrenching--yet intensely uplifting--experience for new generations of readers. This ebook features a new introduction written by the author on the twenty-fifth anniversary of publication, and an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author's personal collection.
Call Number: ONLINE
Publication Date: 2011
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison"A wise and spacious novel," is how Reynold Price described Song of Solomon, Morrison's crowning literary achievement. Her third novel's generous expanse reaches across generations of family and miles of land to tell the story of the descendants of Macon Dead, a one time slave who carved a bountiful living out of the Pennsylvania forest, only to be executed by an envious white farmer. Weaving together many of the themes that characterize her work-the relevance of names, the mysteries of the soul and the mind, and the clashing cultures of the North and South--Toni Morrison has, in Song of Solomon, given us a story that is more that a coming-of-age tale. She probes the heart of the dilemma facing many African-Americans struggling to obtain prosperity and independence without severing the ancestral ties that nourish their black identities. But, most importantly, she tells us a story of the human spirit: it's strength, its endurance, and its ability to soar.
Call Number: Stacks PS3563 .O8749 S6 1987
Publication Date: 1987
The Hate U Give: 1 votes (33.33%)
Maus: 0 votes (0%)
The Color Purple: 2 votes (66.67%)
Beloved: 0 votes (0%)
Lawn Boy: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 3
Read a Banned Book in Print
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieThis novel has been challenged for profanity, sexual references, and the use of a derogatory term. A New York Times bestseller! Over one million copies sold! A National Book Award winner! A Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner! Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and black and white interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.
Call Number: Stacks PS3551 .L35774 A27 2007
Publication Date: 2007
The Bluest Eye by Toni MorrisonNATIONAL BESTSELLER * From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner--a powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity that asks questions about race, class, and gender with characteristic subtly and grace. In Morrison's acclaimed first novel, Pecola Breedlove--an 11-year-old Black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others--prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment. Here, Morrison's writing is "so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry" (The New York Times).
Call Number: Stacks PS3563.O8749 B55 2007
Publication Date: 2007
All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. JohnsonA New York Times Bestseller! Optioned for television by Gabrielle Union Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Today Show, and MSNBC feature stories Velshi Banned Book Club Amazon Best Book of the Year Indie Bestseller Teen Vogue Recommended Read Buzzfeed Recommended Read People Magazine Best Book of the Summer A New York Library Best Book of 2020 A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2020 ... and more! In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys. Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren't Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson's emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.
Call Number: Stacks HQ76.27.A37 J644 2020
Publication Date: 2020
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson; Peter Parnell; Henry Cole (Illustrator)This tenth-anniversary edition of the bestselling, heartwarming true story of two penguins who create a nontraditional family includes an all-new authors' note and an exclusive poster. At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo get the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own. Selected as an ALA Notable Children's Book Nominee and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist, "this joyful story about the meaning of family is a must for any library" (School Library Journal, starred review).
Call Number: Stacks PZ10.3 .R414 T36 2005
Publication Date: 2015
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. SalingerOne of the main reasons people have banned this novel is because it contains foul language. The 16-year-old protagonist swears throughout the book, which makes parents feel like he's a bad role model for their teens who are reading the novel in school.
The "brilliant, funny, meaningful novel" (The New Yorker) that established J. D. Salinger as a leading voice in American literature--and that has instilled in millions of readers around the world a lifelong love of books. "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth." The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caufield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.
Call Number: Stacks PS3537 .A426 C3 1951
Publication Date: 1951
The Grapes of Wrath by John SteinbeckThe Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized--and sometimes outraged--millions of readers. Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read A Penguin Classic First published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads--driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man's fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman's stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck's powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics. This Penguin Classics edition contains an introduction and notes by Steinbeck scholar Robert Demott. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Call Number: Stacks PS3537 .T3234 G8 1986
Publication Date: 1986
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldThis novel has been challenged many times over the years for sex (an extramarital affair that is alluded to but never described in intimate detail), violence, and language. Religious groups have also objected to the booze and partying. A true classic of twentieth-century literature--nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. First published in 1925, this quintessential novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.
Call Number: Stacks PS3511 .I9 G7 1996
Publication Date: 1996
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodThis novel has been challenged for vulgar language and sexual overtones. An instant classic and eerily prescient cultural phenomenon, from "the patron saint of feminist dystopian fiction" (New York Times). Now an award-winning Hulu series starring Elizabeth Moss. In Margaret Atwood's dystopian future, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War. The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead's commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive. At once a scathing satire, an ominous warning, and a tour de force of narrative suspense, The Handmaid's Tale is a modern classic. Includes an introduction by Margaret Atwood
Call Number: Stacks PR9199.3 .A8 H3 1986
Publication Date: 1998
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas8 starred reviews · Goodreads Choice Awards Best of the Best · William C. Morris Award Winner · National Book Award Longlist · Printz Honor Book · Coretta Scott King Honor Book · #1 New York Times Bestseller! "Absolutely riveting!" --Jason Reynolds "Stunning." --John Green "This story is necessary. This story is important." --Kirkus (starred review) "Heartbreakingly topical." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A marvel of verisimilitude." --Booklist (starred review) "A powerful, in-your-face novel." --Horn Book (starred review) Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does--or does not--say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. Want more of Garden Heights? Catch Maverick and Seven's story in Concrete Rose, Angie Thomas's powerful prequel to The Hate U Give.
Call Number: Stacks. PZ7.1.T448 Hat 2017
Publication Date: 2017
Lawn Boy by Jonathan EvisonRecipient of the 2019 Alex Award​​ "Mike Muñoz Is a Holden Caulfield for a New Millennium--a '10th-generation peasant with a Mexican last name, raised by a single mom on an Indian reservation' . . . Evison, as in his previous four novels, has a light touch and humorously guides the reader, this time through the minefield that is working-class America." --The New York Times Book Review For Mike Muñoz, life has been a whole lot of waiting for something to happen. Not too many years out of high school and still doing menial work--and just fired from his latest gig as a lawn boy on a landscaping crew--he's smart enough to know that he's got to be the one to shake things up if he's ever going to change his life. But how? He's not qualified for much of anything. He has no particular talents, although he is stellar at handling a lawn mower and wielding clipping shears. But now that career seems to be behind him. So what's next for Mike Muñoz? In this funny, biting, touching, and ultimately inspiring novel, bestselling author Jonathan Evison takes the reader into the heart and mind of a young man determined to achieve the American dream of happiness and prosperity--who just so happens to find himself along the way.
Call Number: Stacks PS3605.V57 L39 2019
Publication Date: 2019
Maus by Art SpiegelmanThis graphic novel has been banned for violence, nudity (in humanoid mouse caricatures), and profanity. The author-illustrator traces his father's imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp through a series of disarming and unusual cartoons arranged to tell the story as a novel.
Call Number: Stacks D810 .J4 S643 1986
Publication Date: 1986
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThis novel has been banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience.
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic. Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.