Why Was "Go Ask Alice" Banned?

The book "Go Ask Alice" by Beatrice Sparks has been banned in some schools and libraries in the United States for depictions of drug use, profanity and disturbing imagery. These bans began shortly after its publication in the early 1970s and have continued into the 2000s.

The book was written as the anonymous diary of a teenage girl who begins taking LSD and tranquilizers, having premarital sex and selling drugs. She eventually begins doing heroin and is raped at a party. She then becomes homeless and engages in prostitution.

In the 1970s, the book was removed from school libraries in Kalamazoo, Mich.; Saginaw, Mich.; Eagle Pass, Texas and Trenton, N.J. Certain libraries in New York, Utah and Florida required parental permission for minors to check out the book. Another rash of bans happened in school libraries from 1983 to 1986 in Colorado, Mississippi, Minnesota, Michigan and Georgia. Bans continued sporadically across the country in the 1990s and the early 2000s. As of 2014, the most recent ban was in 2007 in the Berkeley County School District in South Carolina.

The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom recorded it as being one of the top 10 most frequently challenged books in the country in 2001 and 2003.