We’re more than halfway through Banned Books Week and now onto year 2009 of our timeline. Today we feature “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky. Chbosky also participated in the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out this year with this video.
In 2009, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower was challenged on the Wyoming, OH high school district’s suggested reading list and restricted to juniors and seniors at the William Byrd and Hidden Valley high schools in Roanoke, VA. In a complaint that grew to include scores of young adult titles and attracted significant media attention, it was also challenged at the West Bend, WI Community Memorial Library as being “obscene or child pornography.” The library board ultimately voted to retain the book, “without removing, relocating, labeling, or otherwise restricting access.” Published in 1999, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” contains references to drug use, homosexuality, and suicide, and has drawn comparisons to “Catcher in the Rye” as an iconic novel of adolescent alienation.
For more information about Banned Books Week, please visit www.ala.org/bbooks.