September 26, 1994



If you carefully pore over the pages of WHERE'S WALDO?, you can spot the cartoon character wending his way through a packed campground, a bustling train station, a busy airport and several other crowded sites. But it was the thronged beach scene that flustered someone at the Springs Public School Library in East Hampton, N.Y. Close examination reveals a boy sticking an ice-cream cone on a sunbather's back, causing her to rise off her towel and reveal just enough bare breast to have the book removed from the library's shelves.

Although most controversial books are not ultimately banned, the American Library Association reported last week that it received 700 reports of censorship attempts last year, up from 651 in 1992 and 514 in 1991.

The year's most challenged book was DADDY'S ROOMMATE by Michael Willhoite, moved from the children's to the adult's sections in some libraries for its depiction of a homosexual lifestyle.

Teachers in Erie, Pa., blacked out passages describing masturbation and mating in Dian Fossey's GORILLAS IN THE MIST. And Jane Smiley's Pulitzer-winning A THOUSAND ACRES was banned at the Lynden, Wash., high school for having

The book assailed the longest is the Bible.

Martin Luther's translation was burned in Germany in 1624.

Last year in the West Shore schools in Harrisburg, Pa., it was retained despite complaints that it contained "more than 300 examples of obscenities.''