Laura Bush Book Pick Banned

A novel on Laura Bush's top 10 list is no longer allowed in some central California schools

"Bless Me, Ultima," a novel on former First Lady Laura Bush's Top 10 Reading List for All Ages, was officially banned this week by board members in central California's Stanislaus County because it contained "excessive profanity," the Los Angeles Times reported.

The 1972 Chicano novel about a Mexican-American boy's struggle with Catholicism was unofficially banned from English classes in October after a parent complained about its content.

"There was excessive vulgarity or profanity used throughout the book," Newman Crows Landing Unified School District Superintendent Rick Fauss told the Times.

"The context didn't... make it acceptable," he said.

The book's author, Rudolfo Anaya, and the American Civil Liberties Union said banning the book violated standards of free speech.

"We have ample evidence throughout history of what happens when we start banning books, when we are afraid of ideas and discussion and analytical thinking," Anaya, 71, told the Times.

"The society will suffer."


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The book has been banned in other districts in states across the country, including Colorado and Arkansas. Supporters of the various bans have cited "Bless Me, Ultima's" allegedly anti-Catholic undertones, frequent use of swear words and graphic depictions of sex as reasons for their vote.

The book placed ninth on Laura Bush's list — but it ranks at number 75 in the list of the 100 most-banned books nationwide.

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