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Banned Books Week: Home

What is Banned Books Week?

Censorship leaves us in the dark. Keep the light on.

Banned Books Week 2019: September 22-28

Every year, hundreds of books are challenged to be banned from libraries and schools throughout the world. These challenges aim to restrict or even completely remove access to certain books.

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.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The American Library Association (ALA)'s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country. (American Library Association, 2011).

Top 10 Challenged Books of 2016

Below are the most frequently challenged books from 2018:

Have you read them?

  1. George by Alex Gino
  2. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
  3. Captain Underpants series written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  5. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
  6. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
  7. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
  8. Skippyjon Jones series written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
  9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  10. This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
  11. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

(Source: American Library Association, 2019)

Puppet Book Banners

See what happens when these puppets misinterpret the meaning of Banned Books Week!

Video of the Top 11 Challenged Books of 2018

Literature helps us navigate the world by shining a light on challenging and uncomfortable topics. Censorship leaves us in the dark. Of the 483 books that were challenged or banned in 2018, these are the Top 11 Most Challenged. The annual list is compiled by the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Words Have Power

Banned Book Week logo

(Source: American Library Association, 2017)