Happy Banned Books Week!

27 Sep

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Banned Books Week (BBW) is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2015 celebration will be held Sept. 27-Oct. 3. BBW was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 311 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2014, and many more go unreported.

The 10 most challenged titles of 2014 were:

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian By Sherman Alexie Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Source: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Why Challenged: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence, depictions of bullying

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Persepolis By Marjane Satrapi Pantheon Books/Knopf Doubleday Source: Pantheon Books/Knopf Doubleday Why Challenged: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint, “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

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The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison Holt, Rinehart, and Winston Why Challenged: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”

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The Kite Runner By Khaled Hosseini Bloomsbury Publishing Source: Bloomsbury Publishing Why Challenged: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky MTV Books/Simon & Schuster Source: MTV Books/Simon & Schuster Why Challenged: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”

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Drama By Raina Telgemeier Graphix/Scholastic Source: Graphix/Scholastic Why Challenged: sexually explicit

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Chinese Handcuffs By Chris Crutcher Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Source: Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Why Challenged: depiction of incest, rape, animal torture, teen drug use, breaking and entering, illegal use of a video camera, profanity directed to a school principal, and graphic sexual references

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The Giver By Lois Lowry HMH Books for Young Readers Source: HMH Books for Young Readers Why Challenged: depictions of adolescent drug use, suicide, and lethal injections

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The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros Vintage/Knopf Doubleday Source: Vintage/Knopf Doubleday Why Challenged: mature content, social issues

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Looking for Alaska By John Green Dutton Books/Penguin Random House Source: Dutton Books/Penguin Random House Why Challenged: Sexual content, inappropriate/graphic language

 

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