Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Against the Grain


University Libraries - Special Collections & Archives


University Libraries


Pat Conroy in My Reading Life stresses the importance of helping students “experience the inevitable transformation that occurs through reading…we must do everything we can to offer and then protect the book that just might change their lives.” An important role of libraries is ensuring every reader can find that life-changing book.

Unfortunately, sometimes that transformational book isn’t available because it was thought too difficult, dark, or challenging for a particular audience. Although “too dark” or “too challenging” are often heard, especially in regards to dystopian novels, the most sited reasons for a book to be challenged according to ALA’s most banned books are sexual content, offensive language, or unsuited to age group, usually evident in a very small portion of the book.



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