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Banned Books Week

Each year the American Library Association (ALA) tracks those books that are the most censored or banned books in the nation. The list often has the same books appearing, but each year, new releases are also added to that list. From the ALA:

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.    

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

A message from Sherman Alexie whose books are on the ‘banned’ list;

Here is a partial list of banned books. If you’d like to participate in the ALA’s “Read Banned Books” program, simply follow this link to learn what you can do.

1. Captain Underpants 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 Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
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 by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: unsuited for age group, violence

9. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit

10. Beloved by Toni Morrison
Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

 

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