Banned Books Week 2017 – What Books are More Likely to be Challenged?

Banned Books Week 2017

Banned Books Week is held each year in the last week of September. Libraries and their supporters use Banned Book Week to raise awareness about books challenges and censorship and to celebrate the right to read.

Our Right to Read - September 24-30 2017. Features Banned Books Week logo.

The American Library Association (ALA) publishes an annual list of the ten books most frequently challenged at libraries across the country. You can review 2016’s list or watch the video below to learn about the most frequently challenged books from last year:

Whose Books Are Banned?

Does anything jump out to you about the books featured in the video above? Six of the ten are written by people who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community (including Mariko Tamaki, Alex Gino, Jazz Jennings, David Levithan, and Chuck Palahniuk), and/or include characters or themes representing the experiences of LGBTQ+ people (including Drama, George, I Am Jazz, and Two Boys Kissing).

Books depicting the diverse array of American and global experiences are frequent fixtures on annual Challenged Books List. A 2014 analysis by Melinda Lo found that about half of the books that appeared on an ALA Challenged Books List from 2000 to 2013 “addressed issues about race, and/or disability; or were about non-white, LGBTQ and/or disabled characters.” Meanwhile, books written by people of color were as much as twice as likely to appear on a Challenged Books List as the rate at which publishers release books written by people of color.

Learn More about Banned Books

You can learn more about Banned Books Week by visiting the book display on the first floor of Miller Information Commons. You can also check out one of these websites: