Li’l Blacked Book

In 2007, Multnomah County Library received requests to ban the following five books on account of their sexual nature

By Kasey Cordell May 19, 2009 Published in the January 2008 issue of Portland Monthly

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EVERY YEAR, the American Library Association receives about 500 requests to ban books, like the Harry Potter series, which has been challenged more often than any other book in recent years. Portland might like to pretend we’re above this 1984 mentality, but it turns out that at least a few Portlanders have a problem with explicit hanky-panky. In 2007, Multnomah County Library received requests to ban the following five books on account of their sexual nature, though none of the books was removed from the shelves. After all, just because a few Portlanders are a little prudish doesn’t mean that our librarians are inclined to strip off our 1st Amendment rights. —Kasey Cordell

Lost Girls Books 1, 2, 3 by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie. These adult graphic novels follow the sexual adventures of three not-so-innocent heroines: Alice from Wonderland, Wendy from Peter Pan and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Suffice to say, Alice does a little more than just fall down the rabbit hole.

For the Love of Letters by Samara O’Shea. A how-to manual for every kind of letter you always wanted to write, but never did—from thank-you notes, to declarations of love, to—and here’s the problem—erotic missives.

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. Forget Michael J. Fox’s innocent rendition, this novel for young adults taps into the dark—and sometimes steamy—world of teen werewolves. Of course, it’s nothing today’s teens haven’t already seen on Buffy.

Princess on the Brink by Meg Cabot. The eighth book in the Princess Diaries tackles the question of teen sex: specifically, if Princess Mia gives it up for her boyfriend, Michael, will he opt to stay in Genovia instead of study in Japan for a year?

The Middle School Survival Guide by Arlene Erlbach. We’re guessing it wasn’t the chapter on how to remember your locker combination that raised concern over this nonfiction guide to navigating the pitfalls of puberty. More likely it was the section on how to kiss—or how to refuse one.

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