Books have been challenged and banned ever since books have begun to be published. There are many reasons why books are challenged and/or banned. Books get banned for everything from profanity to sex. Many books have been challenged and banned throughout history. One series has had every single book within the series has been banned in some locations; there are thirteen books in the series. Gossip Girl, written by Cecily von Ziegesar, is one of the most challenged and/ or banned books in recent years. Gossip Girl has been challenged and/ or banned for multiple reasons including: sex, drugs, and scandals.
There is a difference between banned books and challenged books. According to the American Library Association (ALA), “A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group (About banned, para. 2). A banned book is when a book or other reading material is removed from certain locations and not available. For example, one of the most challenged books in the 21st century is The Giver by Lois Lowry (100 Most). The novel, The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sheman Alexie was banned in high school in Oregon because a parent complained that the book was offensive (Doyle, 3).
There are many reasons why books get challenged and/or banned. According to Robert Doyle, the main reasons for banned are sex, profanity, and racism (Doyle, 3). The most common initiator of the challenge is a parent or group of parents (Challenges by, chart 2). Challenges can also come from: patrons, board members, or organizations (Challenges by, chart 2). Challenges can also come from whole institutions; usually they come from schools (Challenges by, chart 3).
The Gossip Girl Series is written by Cecily von Ziegesar. von Ziegesar begun writing the series in 2002; she finished the series in 2007. In 2002, the series became extremely popular (Baldassarro, para 3). She wrote nine books in the series; the other four were written by ghostwriters. It was named the ninth most challenged book in 2011 (Frequently, para 10). From 2000-2009, it was named the 22nd most banned and/or challenged book (Top 100). Parents in Mississippi have been outraged by the book; one stated the following to a news station when asked about the series after the series was banned at a junior high, “The f-word is in there. It makes reference to ‘Fuck this test,’ ‘Fuck the teacher.’ It makes some sexual explicit comments in their [sic] that I find very offensive, as a parent” (Steiger, para 2). In 2007, the series was turned into a television show making the books even more popular (Baldassarro, para 4).
The Gossip Girl series is banned for multiple reasons. It is a scandalous, sexy, and graphic series. Wolf Baldassarro, a critic, stated it best:
The stereotypical whiny little rich girl persona is taken to new lows as the various characters gossip, cut each other down to size, plot vengeance over the most minor of insults, drink, take...