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September 26, 2021 | Devin Cook

It’s Banned Books Week!

This year’s theme is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers. (ALA)

Celebrate your right to read by checking out some contested or banned titles from our library.

From the American Library Associations’s Banned Books Week page, here are the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020.

  1. George by Alex Gino
  2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
  3. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  6. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  9. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Click on the title to find out more, check out digitally or place a hold!

The story of how Banned Books Week began starts in the 1980s. At this time, the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case began, which ruled that school officials can’t ban books in libraries simply because of their content. There was a rise in protests, both against censorship and for it, which stirred a movement to spotlight the importance of material accessibility.

To this day, books are challenged and banned for certain content, especially in schools.

An infrographic on most common reasons for book challenges by ALA.

The ALA encourages citizens to report instances of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom provides confidential support to anyone undergoing a challenge or ban. Support can come in the form of letters, book reviews, resources, talking points or emotional support. Report censorship online or by calling 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4226.