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Celebrate your fREADom!

BannedLibraries, booksellers, and publishers join together to celebrate Banned Books Week every year. From September 22 – 28, we’ll address the continuing issue of censorship in our communities by highlighting titles that are often challenged around the country. Look for displays and controversial favorites from our staff members!¬†As librarians, we heartily believe that everyone should have the choice to read what they desire.

You might be surprised about what books are being targeted. Last year alone, there were over 460 challenges to books around the US, meaning that individuals sought to remove particular books from schools and libraries. According to the American Library Association, the top ten titles that were challenged in 2012 were

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

Check out the map below to explore where recent challenges have been happening.

View Book Bans and Challenges, 2007-2011 in a larger map

So what can you do? Join in the celebration! Pick your favorite Banned Book and appreciate the opportunity to curl up and read it.

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