In support of the right to choose books freely for ourselves, the American Library Association is sponsoring Banned Books Week (September 23 – 30), an annual celebration of our right to access books without censorship.Observed since 1982, this year marks Banned Book Week’s 25th anniversary. This event commemorates the most basic freedom in a democratic society—the freedom to read freely—and encourages us not to take this freedom for granted.
Since 1990, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has recorded more than 7,800 book challenges. A challenge is a formal, written complaint requesting a book be removed from library shelves or a school’s curriculum. About three out of four of all challenges are to material in schools or school libraries, and one in four are to material in public libraries. OIF estimates that less than one-quarter of challenges are reported and recorded.
It is thanks to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, and students that most challenges are unsuccessful and reading materials like those listed below remain available on library book shelves:
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- The Catcher in the Rye
- Clockwork Orange
- The Color Purple
- The Da Vinci Code
- The Grapes of Wrath
- Harry Potter
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
- Of Mice and Men
- To Kill a Mockingbird
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