In honor of Banned Books Week, our well-read research editor Sandy put together the following 12-question cultural-literacy test. The correct answers are after the jump — how bookish are you?
1. True or False: Two 1960s children’s books written by Dr. Seuss were later removed from print (and stricken from his bibliography) for questionable moral content.
2. Who is the hero of the popular book series by Dav Pilkey, which has been challenged for its “anti-family content”?
a. Wicked Wedgie Woman
b. Deputy Doo-Doo
c. Bionic Booger Boy
d. Captain Underpants
3. Ernst ZÃ¼ndel’s widely-banned book Did Six Million Really Die? questions whether or not what tragedy really occurred?
a. the AIDS epidemic
b. the Holocaust
c. the 2004 tsunami
d. the Great Leap Famine
4. Because the band members’ real blood was mixed with the ink, some shops refused to carry a 1977 Marvel comic book featuring what musicians?
b. Black Sabbath
c. Judas Priest
5. While nearly every library allowed the regular version, what book was rejected by many in its 1982 Reader’s Digest “condensed” version?
a. Gone with the Wind
b. The Bible
c. Mein Kampf
d. Of Mice and Men
6. True or False: Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford appeared on the American Library Association’s List of the “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books” from 1990-2000.
7. Why was an illustrated edition of Little Red Riding Hood banned in two California school districts in 1989?
a. wolf cross-dressing as grandma
b. little girl traveling alone in forest
c. little girl carrying wine to grandma
d. woodcutter attacks wolf with axe
8. What author claimed (perhaps with tongue-in-cheek) that his two most famous books were written “for adults exclusively” and that he was “distressed” when children were given access to them?
a. Mark Twain
b. Stephen King
c. Roald Dahl
d. Jack London
9. What oft-banned author made recent headlines when she had trouble boarding a plane with the only manuscript of her upcoming book?
a. J.K. Rowling
b. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
c. Judy Blume
d. Lois Lowry
10. Characters from what animated TV show are featured in the book Stormy Weather, banned in some schools due to the use of the word “stupid”?
a. The Simpsons
11. Officials in many elementary schools challenged Helen Piers’ How to Take Care of Your Dog because it contained what word?
12. What children’s classic was banned for several years (until a revised edition was published) due to a chatty parrot’s remarks that were determined to be racist?
a. Treasure Island
c. Doctor Dolittle
And here are the answers…
1. answer: b. false
This untrue rumor spread quickly around the Internet in 2002; the books in question were not banned and were not even written by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel.
2. answer: d. Captain Underpants
Pilkey, who was diagnosed with learning problems as a child, designed the books to draw the attention of kids who might not otherwise read.
3. answer: b. the Holocaust
His opinions landed him in jail in Canada for two years. He was deported to Germany in 2005 and is now serving time there.
4. answer: a. KISS
The group used the opportunity to garner lots of press for the comic book, which became Marvel’s biggest-seller ever.
5. answer: b. The Bible
This version removed about one-quarter of the text from the New Testament and more than half of the text from the Old Testament.
6. answer: a. true
The reason? A beach scene in Where’s Waldo? depicts a tiny image of a woman with an untied bikini top.
7. answer: c. little girl carrying wine
The image of a little girl with alcohol was apparently too much for the Culver City and Empire school districts to tolerate.
8. answer: a. Mark Twain
Twain wrote the above in a reply to a 1905 letter from a professor at Brooklyn College, whose library had removed Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer from the children’s shelves.
9. answer: a. J.K. Rowling
JFK Airport officials, following security procedures, finally reached a compromise that allowed her to bring the book on-board.
10. Answer: b. Rugrats
Young children might start calling each other “stupid” if their favorite TV characters do it, which doesn’t promote a good sense of self-worth.
11. Answer: d. bitch
“Bitch,” of course, is the standard term for a female dog which veterinarians and members of the American Kennel Club use regularly without flinching.
12. Answer: c. Doctor Dolittle
Doctor Dolittle was first published in 1920, and Polynesia the parrot uttered many phrases that, while un-PC today, were commonly used then.
How’d you do?
8-12 right: Ban-tastic! You win the Pulitzer Prize for Trivia Knowledge.
4-7 right: Good work — but we have a sneaking suspicion you skipped to the end of the quiz to see how it would turn out.
1-3 right: You just got caught reading the CliffsNotes — but that’s okay, we won’t ban you.
(From Mental Floss - Where Knowledge Junkies Get Their Fix - American Libraries Direct, September 29, 2010)