This is the "Banned & Challenged Books 101" page of the "Banned Books Week 2013" guide.
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Banned Books Week 2013   Tags: banned books week, bbw, challenged books  

A guide to links and Banned Books Week resources on the web and home to the world famous UST Banned Book Trivia contest!
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2014 URL: Print Guide

Banned & Challenged Books 101 Print Page

Why Celebrate Banned Books Week?


The American Library Association defines Banned Books Week as "the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.....BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them."


Over 30 Years of Celebration

In honor of the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, ALA created a timeline of notable books banned/challenged since the inception of Banned Books Week. Click on the picture below to see it:


Who Challenges Books?

Books are often challenged or banned due to material that an individual or an organization deems to be offensive, vulgar, racist, or goes against social norms. 

According to the Office of Intellectual Freedom the top three reasons given for challenging materials: 

1.the material was considered to be "sexually explicit"
2.the material contained "offensive language"
3.the materials was "unsuited to any age group"


What's the difference between banning or challenging a book?

According to the American Libraries Association website

"A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.  A banning is the removal of those materials.  Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others."


Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2012-13

Out of 464 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Cover Art
Captain Underpants (series) - Dav Pilkey
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group

Cover Art
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie; Ellen Forney (Illustrator)
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

Cover Art
Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group

Cover Art
Fifty Shades of Grey - E. L. James
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

Cover Art
And Tango Makes Three - Justin Richardson; Peter Parnell; Henry Cole (Illustrator)
Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group

Cover Art
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

Cover Art
Looking for Alaska - John Green
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

Cover Art
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (series) - Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence

Cover Art
The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

Cover Art
Beloved - Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence


Ways to Get Involved!

Get involved this week by browsing the displays at the UST Libraries and checking out the information on this guide.

Play the BBW Daily Trivia Contest
Do you know the answer?!

Voice your Opinion in the UST BBW Discussion!

Vote for your favorite Banned Books (let's get a list of UST favorites going!)

Participate in the 2013 Virtual Read Out!

Learn more about why books have been banned since 1990


Lists of Banned Books

Find lists of books that have been most frequently challenged or banned here: 

Top 10 by Year


Free Speech

"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasent facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."      -John Kennedy


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