Celebrating the Freedom to Read: BANNED BOOKS WEEK Sept. 22 – 28, 2013

By Niall McArdle

This is Banned Books Week in the United States. Banned Books Week 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 2013 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 22-28.  Banned Books Week 2014 will be held September 21-27.

Banned Books Week 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 464 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2012, and many more go unreported.

To celebrate Banned Books Week, here is a list of some titles, both fiction and non-fiction, that have been banned in various places.


Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit


Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group


Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit


Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence


Reasons: Mysticism, sexual inferences, profanity, racism, references to tobacco and alcohol, and claims that it promotes disobedience, drugs, and communism.


Reasons: Sexually suggestive, despressing


Reasons: Depraved, immoral, psychotic, vulgar, and anti-Christian


Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group

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