Banned Books

banned books

Every year in the United States, books are challenged, banned, and removed from school and public libraries.   Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read.  Since 1982, hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country have drawn attention to the problem of censorship by creating displays or exhibits of challenged and banned books.

locked up books

First floor display of the ATU Library.

This year, Banned Books Week is Sept. 22-28th, and to highlight this event we have created banned book displays on the first floor of the library.  You’ll be able to view some of the frequently challenged or banned books, and discover the reasons why they were or, in some cases, continue to be removed from libraries.

You can find seven of the top ten most challenged books of 2012 right here at Ross Pendergraft Library:

  1. Thirteen reasons why : a novel by Jay Asher.   Reasons:Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  2.  Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.   Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  3.  And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.  Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  4. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.   Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  5. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.  Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  6. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz.   Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison.  Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

While a book may be banned from a library in the United States, governments around the world ban and punish the sale, writing, publishing, and even ownership of certain books.  For more information about banned books around the world, visit Beacon for Freedom of Expression, an international database of nearly 50,000 titles of censored works.  It also includes literature about  censorship and freedom of expression.

Celebrate your freedom to read–visit the ATU Library to learn about banned books weeks or take home one for yourself . . . if you dare!