Timeline entry for 1993: Go Ask Alice

Banned Books Week, Censorship

Leading up to Banned Books Week 2012, ALA will highlight one book from its new timeline of banned and challenged books each day. Today we feature the year 1993 and “Go Ask Alice,” by Anonymous.

Go Ask Alice book coverIn 1993, “Go Ask Alice” was removed from the Wall Township, NJ Intermediate School library by the Superintendent of Schools because the book contains “inappropriate” language and “borders on pornography.” Responding to an anonymous letter, the superintendent ordered the book removed from all reading lists and classroom book collections. It was also removed from an English class at Buckhannon Upshur (WV) High School because of graphic language in the book. At the Johnstown, NY High School, “Go Ask Alice” was challenged as a required reading assignment because of numerous obscenities. Published in 1971, the book is presented as the diary of a teenage girl and details her troubled life, particularly emphasizing the reality and perils of teen drug addiction.

For more information about Banned Books Week, please visit www.ala.org/bbooks.


  • I read this book in as a sophomore in high school. It saved my life. I was 15, had started down the drug road, when I came across this book in my high school library. Best thing that ever happened to me. Alice was my inspiration for getting my life together. Thank you to Ms. Sparks for either writing or putting this novel out there. It changed my life forever. I stopped doing drugs April 18th 1984. Thank you Alice, fictional or real, you changed my life, & my children’s. If you have a child that you believe is experimenting with drugs or sex, THIS should be required reading. Thank you

  • I read this as a 15 year old in 72..hard hitting and shocking . took the glamour out of ‘grown up fun life’..saved me from so many potential mistakes.

  • I read this book.. and I don’t think is any worse than any other book out there… it might be banned at highschool but still recommended up to these days, for my kids to read and learn how bad it could be to fall in drug addiction…
    any kind.

  • It’s ridiculous to ban a book because certain adults think the language is “obscene.” Anyone who thinks kids don’t hear this language is naïve. If the book has a socially redeeming message then banning it is a mistake.

  • The people responsible for banning this book are overprotective “Bigots” who think that by wielding their power to censor books like this one, that they are going to in some way protect children from harm. Actually, they are doing quite the opposite. They are withholding from children the truth about what life is really like.

    In 1974, I read this book at the age of twelve and it didn’t warp my brain. In fact, I bought it with my allowance money. My mother let me buy it and the cashier rang me up…in 1974.

    Censorship MUST END!!! We should put Censorship in a casket and let it rot in the ground!

  • Banned it in my library in 85. We, the students, got it back. Changed my life!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.