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Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week 2017 Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read, and to seek and express ideas – even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. The week highlights the value of free and open access to information, and in 2017 will emphasize the importance of the First Amendment, which guarantees our inherent right to read.

Please visit the educational displays on the second floor featuring books that have been targeted with censorship efforts in libraries and schools, including some of our best-known and loved classics that have been banned or challenged in the United States. For more information visit

Banned Books Week Top Ten Challenged Books of 2016

Top Ten Most Challenged Books for 2016

Out of 323 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

  1. This One Summer” written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
    Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.
  2. Drama” written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.
  3. George” written by Alex Gino
    Reasons: challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels”.
  4. I Am Jazz” written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas.
    Reasons: challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints.
  5. Two Boys Kissing” written by David Levithan
    Reasons: challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content.
  6. Looking for Alaska” written by John Green
    Reasons: challenged for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation”.
  7. Big Hard Sex Criminals” written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
    Reason: challenged because it was considered sexually explicit.
  8. Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread” written by Chuck Palahniuk
    Reasons: challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive”.
  9. Little Bill (series)” written by Bill Cosby and and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
    Reason: challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author.
  10. Eleanor & Park” written by Rainbow Rowell
    Reason: challenged for offensive language.

Banned Book Week 2017 Intellectual Freedom

Stand up for your freedom to read
every day of the year.