|Books, Censorship, Literary Merit, and Persuasion
Goal: You will research a book that has been banned, censored, or challenged. Should this book be removed from
library shelves? Should it be censored? Why or why not? Why has it been challenged? You will defend
either the book or its censorship after an in-depth study of the book, its literary value, and the censorship
issues surrounding it.
Essential Questions to start your thinking:
Why are some books banned from school and public libraries?
Who makes the decisions about which books to challenge, censor, or ban from school and public libraries?
What criteria are used to exclude books from school and public libraries? How, and by whom?
What are the differences between challenged, censored, and banned books?
Ask yourself (and answer) the following:
What do you already know or think about removing books from library and/or classroom shelves?
What is your position regarding the removal or censoring of books from library and/or classroom shelves,
What protects our right to read in this country, and what are the limits to those rights?
Why would someone want to remove books from library shelves, and who are these people?
In general, is it okay to remove materials from library shelves when someone(s) objects to them?
Is it appropriate for parents to restrict what their own and other’s children read?
Should libraries have materials that are offensive to some people?
What might eventually happen if we remove items from libraries that are deemed offensive by someone?
Select, read, and research a book* that has been banned, challenged, censored. You may use:
PABBIS (Parents Against Bad Books In Schools)
other sources approved by your instructor
* Book must have at least 125 pages. If it is a Young Adult novel that has fewer pages, you will read two
books by the same author. Books that have been made into movies within the past 15 years aren’t allowed.
You will also read one literary critique of your book that describes its literary merit. For assistance, take advantage of the Gale search engine, available via our school library.
You will demonstrate your understanding of social issues, censorship, literary merit, and persuasion via a persuasive letter, a bibliography, and ONE of the following:
a prezi that fully addresses the above topics AND “teaches” your book
a speech written and delivered as a main character from your book that explains who you are and why
you should not be silenced
a speech written and delivered as someone who objects to this book that explains who you are and why
the book should be removed from library shelves
a blog that opens and explores the debate over your banned book
a video presentation that contains information based on your research and your banned book
a storyboard of at least 12 panels that contains information based on your research and banned book
a brochure that contains information based on your research and banned book
a product of your own choosing which receives your instructor’s approval
Literature is often reflective of the time in which it was written. By looking at what books are challenged, we can think critically about changing social issues, changing tastes in reading, and the power of persuasion.
Select three books that you are interested in reading and researching. Please discuss your choices with your parent/guardian, then complete the following:
First Choice: ____________________________________________________
Why this book?
Second Choice: __________________________________________________
Why this book?
Third Choice ____________________________________________________
Why did you select this book?
I have read, understand, and discussed the Banned Book project and requirements with my parent/guardian.
Student Signature Parent/Guardian Signature