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Censorship is a Dead End

Censorship is a Dead End

Banned Books Week is September 27 – October 3! This annual, week-long event created by the American Library Association celebrates the freedom to read by spreading awareness of the harms of censorship. People are encouraged to get involved and continue the fight for free expression, by further educating themselves or by reading banned books.

Brief History

Banned Books Week began in the 1980s after the Supreme Court case District v. Pico (1982) ruled that school officials cannot ban books in libraries because of their content. The first display included frequently challenged books in padlocked cages to draw attention to and start a conversation about banned books. From there, institutions and stores began creating window displays and eventually the event made its way to mainstream media such as PBS and the New York Times. You can read more about the history here!

Banned and Challenged Books

The 10 most challenged books of 2019 are primarily children’s books. You can take a look at this year’s and previous years’ top 10 lists here. In addition to these lists, take a look at these 5 frequently challenged YA novels available to check out at the library today!


The Hate U Give by Angie C. Thomas

After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life becomes complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

When Clay Jensen receives a box containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends the night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah’s voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this tells the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Unwind by Neil Shusterman

In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives “unwound” and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs–and, perhaps, save their own lives.

When it Happens by Susane Colasanti

High school seniors Sara and Tobey attempt to figure out what is important in life as they try to balance their preparations for their futures with their enjoyment of the present.


To get involved in this year’s Banned Books Week, take a look at this list of suggestions created by the American Library Association!




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