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Banned Books

             The Temperature at Which Books Burn.
             Throughout history, more and different kinds of people, who for different reasons, have attempted to block out anything that conflicts or disagrees with their beliefs. This has caused many books to be challenged and even banned from schools and libraries across the world. How does this come about? A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based on the objections of the person or group. A banning is the removal of materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing their view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from a curriculum or a library (ALA 2). Who decides what books are banned? The American Library Association (ALA) collects information from sources, newspapers and reports submitted by individuals, who use the Challenge Database Form. All challenges are entered into a database. Reports of challenges from newspapers across the country are compiled which then are published in the "Banned Books Week Resource Guide". Challenges reported to the ALA by individuals are kept confidential. The ALA will release only the title of the book being challenged (ALA 3).
             Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, is one of the many books which has been challenged and banned from many schools and libraries. Fahrenheit 451 is a futuristic tale of a society where all printed material is banned. In 1967, Ballantine Books issued a cut .
             down version of Fahrenheit 451. Over 75 passages in the novel had been changed. Words such as "hell," "damn" and "abortion" were removed. A drunk man was changed to a sick man and a reference to cleaning a navel was changed to cleaning ears. This edition was sold to high schools, while the original edition was sold to bookstores. The changes were made without Ray Bradbury's knowledge or consent, and the edition went through 10 printings over 13 years before he found out and demanded they withdraw the edition.

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