Happy Banned Books Week!

Every year around this time in September, the ACLU joins a variety of groups, including the subversive American Library Association, in celebrating the freedom to read without censorship. The “banned” in ‘Banned Books Week’ refers to the hundreds of books that have been challenged and/or withdrawn from schools, public libraries, and bookstores.

Yes, this still happens in 21st century America. In fact, according to the ALA, the top ten most challenged books of 2005 were:

1. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley
2. Forever, by Judy Blume
3. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
4. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
5. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
6. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
8. Captain Underpants series, by Dav Pilkey
9. Crazy Lady!, by Jane Leslie Conly
10. It’s So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families, by Robie H. Harris

The ACLU of PA held Banned Books Readings in Philly and Pittsburgh this year. The Pittsburgh events featured four short video clips of Pittsburgh locals reading lines from their favorite banned or challenged book. It’s a cute montage and worth checking out. Happy Banned Books Week!

-Lisa in Pittsburgh

2 thoughts on “Happy Banned Books Week!

  1. When Lisa says this still happens in the 21st century, she’s not kidding. In fact, it just happened in the last month. A school in central PA, near Bloomsburg, received an $8000 grant for books for the library, but delivery to the library was delayed because school board members objected to some of the books. The books were thrown into indefinite detention in a storage room. This one had a happy ending, though. Through the writ of habeas corpus (and over 100 people showing up at a meeting to protest), an agreement was struck to release the books from their captivity.


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