Banned Books Week

Celebrating the Freedom to Read - Sept 27−Oct 3, 2015

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What is Banned Books Week?

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Check out the frequently challenged books section to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; the Freedom to Read Foundation; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; National Association of College Stores; PEN American Center and and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

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The BEHS library celebrates Banned Books Week

  • The Library Media Center maintains a Banned Books Week Website (
  • Ninth graders at Bristol Eastern participate in a banned books lesson that includes frequently challenged picture books.
  • We put up an eye-catching display by our entrance (auditorium side).
  • Teachers receive fliers in their mailboxes to post in their classrooms.

Most challenged books of 2014

Out of 307 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, the following books were the most frequently challenged.


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”

Copy in BEHS Library: Yes


Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

Copy in BEHS Library: Yes


And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”

Copy in BEHS Library: Yes


The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”

Copy in BEHS Library: Yes


The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

Copy in BEHS Library: Yes


Looking for Alaska, by John Green

Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Copy in BEHS Library: Yes

John Green's reaction to his book being banned in 2008.
I Am Not A Pornographer


The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Copy in BEHS Library: Yes


Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya

Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

Copy in BEHS Library: Yes


Bone (series), by Jeff Smith

Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

Copy in BEHS Library: Yes