Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Celebrate the Freedom to Read!




We often take for granted our access to the books we want to read - everything we could possibly want is available, practically at our fingertips or at most a short wait away.  Each year, however, many books are challenged for removal from school or public libraries.  Banned Books Week is the time of year when we like to bring attention to this issue, and encourage people to stand up for the freedom to read.

The American Library Association collects data every year to determine the top challenged books of the year.  The top ten challenged books for 2012 were the following:


  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


If you're curious about all of the books that are challenged each year, archived lists are available on the Illinois Library Association website. 

They're a perfect resource when you're looking for something good to read!

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