Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Thursday, April 18, 2024

Imagine growing up without being able to find Waldo or wishing you had Matilda's magic powers.

In some places, avid child readers could have faced this childhood without imagination because these books have been contested and removed from library shelves.

UF's Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature exhibit, Banned and Controversial Books from 1990 to 2008, features titles that parents and school officials have deemed taboo, making them forbidden material for some young eyes.

"I really don't think there's a valid reason to take a book off a shelf," said Rita Smith, curator of the Baldwin Library. "All books should be freely accessible."

Smith said although children's books have always been contested, parents started contesting more books in the 1980s as the content began dealing with difficult issues.

"Some reasons are pretty silly," said Smith, referring to books such as "Where's Waldo?" which is contested for featuring a partially exposed woman in the maze of people while Waldo is at the beach, and Shel Silverstein's poetry collection "A Light in the Attic" for giving children the idea that by breaking plates, they won't have to do the dishes. "But others are pretty serious," she said.

In the second edition of "Where's Waldo?" published in 1997, 10 years after the original, the exposed woman was redrawn wearing a bikini top.

Books like "Go Ask Alice," the 1971 cult classic and one of the first novels to come out of the drug era, and Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," a popular high school reading requirement, are still contested even after years on the market.

The display, which runs through Nov. 4, offers students an understanding of issues that go on behind the scenes at libraries that can take a book off the shelf and into the dark.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.