Banned Books WeekBanned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2012 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 30 through October 6. 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. For more information on Banned Books Week, click here. According to the American Library Association, there were 326 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2011, and many more go unreported.

Are you looking for a way to celebrate your freedom to read during Banned Books Week (Sept. 30 – Oct. 6, 2012)? Consider participating in the Banned Books Virtual Read-out!

Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs—a continuous reading of banned/challenged books — as part of their activities. For the second year in a row, readers from around the world can participate in the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out by creating videos proclaiming the virtues of the freedom to read that will be featured on a dedicated YouTube channel.

The 10 most challenged titles of 2011 were:

  • ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle. Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  • The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa. Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  • The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins. Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  • My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler. Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  • Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  • Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones. Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  • Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar. Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Reasons: offensive language; racism

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