Why are so many diverse books banned? The 2016 celebration of Banned Books Week will examine this important question as part of its thematic focus on diversity. Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, runs from September 25−October 1, 2016, and will be observed in thousands of libraries, schools, bookstores and other community settings across the nation and the world.
It is estimated that over half of all banned books are by authors of color, or contain events and issues concerning diverse communities, according to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. This year’s Banned Books Week will celebrate literature written by diverse writers that has been banned or challenged, as well as explore why diverse books are being disproportionately singled out in the first place.
Explore the following pages for listings of banned/challenged books:
- Banned Books That Shaped America
- 30 Years of Liberating Literature timeline
- Banned/Challenged Classics
- Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books lists
- 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books by Decade
- Most Frequently Challenged Authors pages of the 21st Century
- Extended list of books banned or challenged
The top ten most challenged books of 2015 include:
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).