Teaching Banned Books: 32 Guides for Children and Teens, Second Edition

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author

As standard-bearers for intellectual freedom, school and children’s librarians are in ideal positions to collaborate with educators to not only protect the freedom to read but also ensure that valued books which touch upon important topics are not quarantined from the readers for whom they were written. In this best-selling classroom- and library-ready book of discussion guides, thoroughly updated and expanded to include genres such as graphic novels and nonfiction, award-winning champion of children's literature Scales shows that there is a way to teach these books while respecting all views. Also freshened to include only books that are in print, this resource

  • reprints Judy Blume's stirring introduction from the first edition;
  • aids educators and librarians in stimulating the critical thinking skills of young readers aged 9-18 while also encouraging freedom of thought and expression, in either classroom or book club settings;
  • spotlights titles dealing with sensitive but vital issues such as bullying, racism, bigotry, making tough choices, other cultures, and our uncertain future;
  • offers tips for introducing each book and its associated topics;
  • provides open-ended questions for discussion which explore the book as a whole rather than simply its "controversial" aspects, along with research and writing activities; and
  • includes short summaries of each book, plus a read-alikes section to keep the conversation going.

Using this powerful resource, the oft-challenged books featured inside will be jumping-off points for rich and engaging discussion among young readers, their librarians and teachers, and parents.

Foreword to the First Edition by Judy Blume
Introduction: Studying the First Amendment

Part I: The Bully and the Outcast

  • 1    Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White
  • 2    Blubber by Judy Blume
  • 3    The Goats by Brock Cole
  • 4    Holes by Louis Sachar
  • 5    Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
  • 6    When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt
  • 7    Wringer by Jerry Spinelli
  • 8    One Fat Summer by Robert Lipsyte

Part II    : Racism and Bigotry

  • 9    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
  • 10    The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • 11    Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  • 12    The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Part III:  Reality and Tough Choices

  • 13    Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  • 14    Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • 15    George by Alex Gino
  • 16    The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
  • 17    Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • 18    Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  • 19    Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • 20    The Contender by Robert Lipsyte

Part IV: Other Cultures and Other Lands

  • 21    Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • 22    Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
  • 23    American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang; Illustrated by Gene Luen Yang and Lark Pien

Part V: The Past and the Future

  • 24    Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • 25    My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  • 26    The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman
  • 27    Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • 28    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • 29    The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • 30    The House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Part VI: This Was My Life

  • 31    Bad Boy: A Memoir by Walter Dean Myers
  • 32    Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos


Pat R. Scales

Pat R. Scales is a retired middle and high school librarian whose programs have been featured on the Today Show and in various professional journals. She has also served as an adjunct instructor of children’s and young adult literature at Furman University and has been a guest lecturer at universities across the nation. A First Amendment advocate, she is a former chair of ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee and serves on the Board of Advisors of the National Coalition against Censorship. She is a past president of the Association of Library Service for Children, and in 2011 received the Distinguished Service Award. She chaired the 1992 Newbery Award Committee, the 2003 Caldecott Award Committee, and the 2001 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award Committee. She writes for Book Links magazine and a bimonthly column for School Library Journal. Her books include Books under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children's Books, Second EditionTeaching Banned Books: 32 Guides for Children and Teens, Second Edition, and Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your School Library. She was recipient of The Freedom to Read Foundation's 2023 Roll of Honor Award.