Palin’s Banned Books

There IS a list.

Part of the facts of the controversy are based on a 1996 article by reporter Paul Stuart for the Frontiersman. (Frontiersman)

Assembly of God ministers are well-known in Wasilla for taking strong positions on moral issues, including this recent sermon by the current pastor: “Everybody in the world has a guilty conscience. That’s why homosexuals wants laws of the land to justify their sin because they have a guilty conscience.”

Around the time Palin became mayor, the church and other conservative Christians began to focus on certain books available in local stores and in the town library, including one called ‘Go Ask Alice,’ and another written by a local pastor, Howard Bess, called ‘Pastor, I Am Gay’

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day. [Snopes confirms this letter]

According to Anchorage Daily News, Palin asked Wasilla’s librarian if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so. The librarian replied that she would definitely not be all right with it. [Truth or Fiction confirms]

“I was shocked. Mary Ellen sat up straight and said something along the line of, ‘The books in the Wasilla Library collection were selected on the basis of national selection criteria for libraries of this size, and I would absolutely resist all efforts to ban books.'” [Rindi White, Anchorage Daily News]

In December 1996, Emmons, now Mary Ellen Baker, told her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman, that Palin three times asked her — starting before she was sworn in — about possibly removing objectionable books from the library if the need arose. A few months later, the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, got a letter from Palin telling her she was going to be fired. Emmons had been city librarian for seven years and was well liked. After a wave of public support for her, Palin relented and let Emmons keep her job. [McClatchy Newspapers]

TIME reports former Wasilla Mayor John Stein says that as mayor Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. “She asked the library how she could go about banning books.”

Truth or Fiction has also discovered the first list from Sarah Pallin is not from the minutes of the Wasilla Library Board revealing books she requested to remove, that this link and others to a list of books Mayor Sarah Palin submitted for removal, is false. My previous post exaggerated in duplicating this eRumor, but thanks to Dave I located the facts.

If the book list looks familiar it is because many of these titles and works are listed in the American Library Association’s list of frequently challenged books.

Once a year, the American Library Association celebrates National Banned Book Week at public libraries all over the country in the spirit of celebrating the freedom to read.

A Clockwork Orange
by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L’Engle
Annie on My Mind
by Nancy Garden
As I Lay Dying
by William Faulkner
by Judy Blume
Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales
by Chaucer
by Stephen King
by Joseph Heller
by Stephen King
by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells
by Daniel Cohen
Daddy’s Roommate
by Michael Willhoite
Day No Pigs Would Die
by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
by Boccaccio
East of Eden
by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels
by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill
by John Cleland
Flowers For Algernon
by Daniel Keyes
by Judy Blume
by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC
by Eve Merriam
Harry Potter, Sorcerer’s Stone
by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter, Chamber of Secrets
by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter, Prizoner of Azkaban
by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire
by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go
by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies
by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms
by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou
edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen
by Maurice Sendak
It’s Okay if You Don’t Love Me
by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach
by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass
by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood
by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices
by Norma Klein
by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark
by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead

by James and Christopher Collier
My House
by Nikki Giovanni
My Friend Flicka
by Mary O’Hara
Night Chills
by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
On My Honor
by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan
by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People
by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves
by Boston Collective
Prince of Tides
by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes
by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories: More Tales
by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark
by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace
by John Knowles
Silas Marner
by George Eliot
by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain
The Bastard
by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War
by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple
by Alice Walker
The Devil’s Alternative
by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows
by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins
by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid
by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree
by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible
by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice
by William Shakespeare
The New Teenage Body Book
by McCoy and Wibbelsman
The Pigman
by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S.
by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining
by Stephen King
The Witches
by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm
by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won’t
by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night
by William Shakespeare
New Collegiate Dictionary
by the Merriam-Webster
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts
by Edna Barth