Timeline entry for 2001: Catcher in the Rye

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 2001 and “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger.

Catcher in the Rye book coverPublished in 1951 as a novel for adults, “Catcher in the Rye” gained popularity with young adult readers for its consideration of teenage disillusionment and rebellion. Controversy around the book — particularly its vulgar or “blasphemous” language, sexual content, and references to alcohol and cigarettes — began soon after its publication and has continued into the 20th and 21st centuries. In 2001, “Catcher in the Rye” was removed by a Dorchester District 2 school board member in Summerville, SC who believed it to be “a filthy, filthy book.” The same year, it was challenged by a Glynn County, GA school board member because of profanity, but was retained. “Catcher in the Rye” remains a classic of American literature and is widely regarded as one of the great novels of the 20th century.

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

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