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Updated by J.D. Thomas on Aug 23, 2017
J.D. Thomas J.D. Thomas
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The 2014 Banned Books Week Reader

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.

Banned Books Week to focus on graphic novels

The national Banned Books Week planning committee has also announced a new focus in the annual celebration of the freedom to read that will emphasize a thematic focus on comics and graphic novels. This year’s Banned Books Week will shine a light on this still misunderstood form of storytelling and celebrate the value of graphic novels to readers from all walks of life through the work performed by Banned Books Week sponsors and individual librarians, retailers and readers from all over the world.

Will the Giver Movie Prompt More Schools to Ban the Book?

For The Giver just under one-third of all challenges (for which the outcome was reported) resulted in a removal. The state that has seen the most attempts to remove The Giver is Texas, but the book has also been challenged in Massachusetts, Washington, and many other states all over the country.

Banned Books Week hopes chapter closes on literature bans

Through the various events at the libraries and Corvidae Collective, people are being encouraged to consider how what is deemed controversial or dangerous changes over time and environment — in other words, how what should be banned or restricted is subject to interpretation.

Exhibit explores censorship and banned books

The Banned Books art show features works created especially for the exhibit by local artists. For inspiration, artists referred to favorite books that have been banned or their own experiences with censorship of freedom of expression.

Pastors Want Youth Occult Books Removed from Library: ‘It’s Dangerous for Our Kids’

So far, public library officials have said they will not remove the provocative books from the shelves, even though Missick gave the Cleveland City Council a petition that urged the “occultic and demonic” books to “be purged from the shelves.”

A Conservative Activist Slams Libraries for “Banning” Anti-Gay Books—Is She Right?

The Illinois Family Institute has long been listed as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, so news that their “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins has said something incendiary about LGBTQ people is not a surprise. This time, however, the particular focus of her anti-gay rant is worth considering, if only because it partakes in the phenomenon of absurd conservative rhetoric sort of sounding good if you don’t think about it too hard.

(Opinion) Do Librarians Really Care About Book-Banning?

Self-righteous, dissembling librarians are seeking once again to foment “book-banning” hysteria through their annual dishonest Banned Books Week campaign (Sept. 21-27) sponsored by the self-righteous, dissembling, and politically partisan American Library Association (ALA).

Why your teen should read Wallflower and these other banned books

In honor of my grumpiness over yet another school board force-feeding their values to American teens, here is a roundup of books teens should be allowed to read, despite their questionable nature. They should be allowed to read these books in order to survive. I know I did.

Banning Books In The 21st Century

You'd probably expect the Nazis to ban books, but did you know the threat still exists today?

Reading is right: Celebrate banned books week

I suppose it might be true that in general librarians eschew censoring books, but I don't think that's very important. For one thing, librarians aren't the only ones who think this kind of censorship is wrong. More importantly, I think this attitude comes not from being a librarian, but rather because I'm an American.

Hartford Library To Mark Banned Books Week With Look At Comic-Book Scare

Hajdu, a journalism professor at Columbua University, said comic books had been viewed with suspicion since they popped on the scene in the 1930s. In the late '40s and early '50s, however, comic books had evolved to graphically dealing with sordid, violent or sexually suggestive subjects. At the same time, an atmosphere of paranoia over the spread of communism reigned, and spilled over to include comic books.

Banned Books Week: Q&A with Bradbury expert Jonathan Eller

The head of IUPUI's Center for Bradbury Studies talks about Banned Books Week, the latest installment in his three-part Bradbury biography and efforts to censor Fahrenheit 451.

Banned Books Week Warm Up: School Board in Oregon fighting over “Persepolis”

Why wait until Banned Books Week starts next week to start celebrating the madness. This time we go to Murphy, Oregon where things got a little heated at the Three Rivers School Board meeting. 

Banned Books That Shaped America

The Library of Congress created an exhibit, 'Books that Shaped America,' that explores books that 'have had a profound effect on American life.' Below is a list of books from that exhibit that have been banned/challenged.(To learn more about challenges to books since the inception of Banned Books Week, check out the timeline created by ALA.)

Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin and 'Weird Al' Yankovic Read Banned Comics

It's that time of year, that everyone starts talking about banned books -- and in the comics industry, where we've been saddled with the stereotype that the whole art form is "for kids" for about three quarters of a century now, that means a lot of talk about banned comic books.

Whoops! BANNED Book Week

I humbly compose this retraction. As many of you probably realize, this is not Band Book Week but rather Banned Book...

Washington States's Banned Books

Earlier this year, parents in Prosser tried to have a book that featured a child with gay fathers pulled from middle school shelves. That effort failed, as have most in Washington – the state hasn't been a hotbed for bans. In the past two decades, just 14 titles have been pulled from shelves in Washington.

The implications of Banned Books Week

I’ve long had complicated feelings about Banned Books Week . It’s not that I’m in favor of banning books, just the opposite. For me, “free expression” is among the clearest phrases in the English language, and I believe we have the right to say and publish anything — even, or especially, work whose “redeeming social importance” is not clear.

Too Graphic? 2014 Banned Books Week Celebrates Challenged Comics

Captain Underpants has once again topped the list of most-challenged books. Author Dav Pilkey says his tighty-whities-clad hero teaches kids a healthy lesson about questioning authority.

Comics Censorship, from ‘Gay’ Batman to Sendak’s Mickey |

Since the 1940s, critics have claimed that comic books and graphic novels corrupt youth by breeding immorality, sexual deviance, and violence. 

Young Readers Need Humor

As grown-ups, we need to respect our children's rights to choose what they want to read. Kids who have fun reading are making a connection in their brains that reading is valuable and rewarding. 

Censorship. It’s More Than Just Books! |

We keep saying “Libraries are more than just books” yet we cling to a book-centric discussion for Intellectual Freedom, which is what this is all about, really.  And there really aren’t many actual ‘banned books’ here.  Mostly challenged., so that in itself is a misnomer.