Banned Book Week is Sept 22 – 28 and it is probably one of my favorite library-related holidays. I believe in freedom to read whatever you want, no matter what others might think and fighting against censorship is pretty much what Banned Book Week is all about. Here’s some ideas from the New York Times about how to celebrate. Last year, I reviewed Brave New World (banned since 1932 in various capacities) and the graphic novel The Color of Earth (banned in 2011). I will have to look through the 2001 – 2012 Banned Books lists to see what books I will check out this year.

I liked this list of some very famous books that have “shaped America” that have been banned and the reasons why, from the official Banned Books Week website. One of the most talked about Censorship cases this year happened right here in Arizona, with the Tucson Unified School District. These are the most challenged titles from 2012 (I’ve read 2, 5, 7 and 8):

  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