Banned Books Week

Banned Books WeekBanned Books Week, September 25-October 1, 2016, is a celebration of the freedom to read and the resistance to censorship worldwide. Every year in the United States there are hundreds of requests across the country to remove books from libraries and schools.

Portland Community College (PCC) Library is a strong advocate of the principle of the freedom to read, supporting the concept that a vital democratic society depends on unfettered access to ideas. Censorship of books prevents individuals from accessing the full range of viewpoints and perspectives so they can learn from them and draw their own conclusions about their merits.

Top Ten Book Challenges (2015)

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom creates a yearly top 10 frequently challenged books. Find out which titles made the 2015 list in the video below, then check out one of these titles to read.

(1)  Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

(2) Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, poorly written, and concerns that teenagers will want to try it.

(3) I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.

(4) Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for education, and wants removal to ward off complaints.

(5) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, profanity, and atheism.

(6) The Holy Bible
Reasons: Religious viewpoint

(7) Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
Reasons: Violence and graphic images.

(8) Habibi, by Craig Thompson
Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

(9) Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.

(10)  Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
Reasons: Homosexuality and condones public displays of affection.

Recommended websites

Challenges by Reasons, Initiator, and Institution
Visual graphs covering the reasons for book challenges.

Intellectual Freedom Challenges in Oregon: A News Database
Articles from Oregon newspapers about book challenges and other intellectual freedom issues for the past 65 years.

Most Frequently Challenged Authors of the 21st Century
Compiled by the American Library Association, this site includes the top ten challenged books by year from 2001-2012.

Oregon Library Association: Celebrate the Freedom to Read in Oregon
Facebook page dedicated to fighting censorship, protecting intellectual freedom, and celebrating the freedom to read.

12 Most Famous Banned Books
These books have been banned in a variety of countries including the USA and Russia.  In some cases, the books have been burned.

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