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Banned Books: Resources & Action

Banned Books Week (September 18-24, 2022) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.

What Can I Do?

Everyone can play a part in fighting censorship, defending the freedom to read, and promoting Banned Books Week. Brush up on the history of Banned Books Week at ala.org/advocacy/bbooks and learn about fighting for the rights of books you love (and why you should still care about the ones you don't!)

Here are just a few ways to get involved:

  • Use the hashtag #bannedbooksweek to declare your freedom to read
  • Post a photo or video of you reading one of your favorite banned books. Look here for lists of challenged and banned titles.
  • Attend a webinar exploring censorship and trends in libraries.
  • Stock up on awesome Banned Books Week materials at the ALA Store. No cash? Get free downloads here and show off your Banned Books Week spirit.
  • Reach out to your local newspaper with a Letter to the Editor on behalf of the freedom to read. An example advocating for reading banned books is available to get you started.
  • Stand up to censorship by reporting challenges made to books to the Office for Intellectual Freedom.
  • Read a Banned Book!

Ban & Challenge Breakdown 2022

What types of items get challenged

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

Where challenges take place

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

Reasons for challenges

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

Who initiates challenges

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

Top Ten Challenged Books of 2021

#1 most challenged book of 2021. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. For LGBTQIA+ content, considered sexually explicit.

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, considered sexually explicit.

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

#2 most challenged book of 2021. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison. For LGBTQIA+ content, considered sexually explicit.

Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison. Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, considered sexually explicit.

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

#3 most challenged book of 2021. All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson. For LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, considered sexually explicit.

All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson. Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, considered sexually explicit.

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

#4 most challenged book of 2021. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez. For depictions of abuse, considered sexually explicit.

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez. Challenged for depictions of abuse, considered sexually explicit.

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

#5 most challenged book of 2021. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. For profanity, violence, considered anti-police,

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Challenged for profanity, violence, considered anti police, "indoctrination of a social agenda".

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

#6 most challenged book of 2021. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. For profanity, sexual references, use of derogatory terms.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Challenged for profanity, sexual references, use of derogatory terms.

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

#7 most challenged book of 2021. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. Considered sexually explicit and degrading to women.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. Considered sexually explicit and degrading to women.

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

#8 most challenged book of 2021. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. For depiction of child sexual abuse, considered sexually explicit.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Challenged for depiction of child sexual abuse, considered sexually explicit.

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

#9 most challenged book of 2021. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson. For LGBTQIA+ content, providing sexual education.

This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson. Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, providing sexual education.

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

#10 most challenged book of 2021. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, written and photographed by Susan Kuklin. For LGBTQIA+ content, considered sexually explicit.

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, written and photographed by Susan Kuklin. Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, considered sexually explicit.

Images via https://ala.org/bbooks

Follow Banned Books

          

Or subscribe to Intellectual Freedom News, a free newsletter from the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Read About Censorship with UWSP Libraries

UWSP Library Staff Recommendations

A woman with white hair and dark glasses, wearing a red hoodie, reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
UWSP Student Katie Pritzl, a young white woman with brown hair and glasses and wearing a brown sweater, sitting next to a stack of Harry Potter books.
Sally Tiffany, a young woman with brown hair and glasses, reading Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Avianna Holmes, a young white woman with pink eyeshadow and long wavy brown hair, smiling and holding up a copy of the book Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.
Sameul Barrett, a young white man with brown hair, holds up a copy of the book Night by Elie Wiesel. He is wearing a face mask and raising his eyebrows with his eyes open wide.
A young woman with white skin and blonde hair in a ponytail holds up a copy of the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. She is wearing a gray face mask, dark-rimmed glasses, and a green hoodie.