Banned Books for All Ages
JMRL recognizes the freedom to read by celebrating Banned Books Week, a week to promote intellectual freedoms and to inform people about the problems of censorship in libraries each September. When people try to ban and challenge books from being read, it prevents other people from access to that literature, and prevents them from having freedom to information.
Banned Books Week at JMRL: Events
- Banned Books Week 2017: September 24-30, 2017
- Check out displays at your local library highlighting books that have been banned and challenged.
- Banned Books Starry Night Storytime
- Monday, September 25 at 6:30pm
- Celebrate the freedom to read at the Central Library with this special storytime. Come in your jammies and cozy up as we celebrate classic picture books that have been banned or challenged.
- Banned Books Week Reading at Tin Whistle Irish Pub at 609 E. Market St. Charlottesville, Virginia
- Tuesday, September 29 from 5 to 6:30pm
- Come read aloud from your favorite banned book to celebrate the Freedom to Read! Check out the lists of banned books below to pick a book that you would like to read a selection from. Then join JMRL at the Tin Whistle Irish Pub to read it aloud.
- Banned Books Week Reading at Pro Re Nata at 6135 Rockfish Gap Turnpike, Crozet, Virginia
- Wednesday, October 4 from 6:30-8pm
- Come read aloud from your favorite banned book to celebrate the Freedom to Read! Check out the lists of banned books below to pick a book that you would like to read a selection from. Then join JMRL at Pro Re Nata to read it aloud.
The Top 10 Most Banned Books from 2016:
Below is a list of the 10 most banned and challenged books from 2016 (the most recent list). For more information about banned books by year, please visit ALA's list of Frequently Challenged Books
- This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
- This young adult graphic novel, winner of both a Printz and a Caldecott Honor Award, was restricted, relocated, and banned because it includes LGBT characters, drug use, and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.
- Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
- Parents, librarians, and administrators banned this Stonewall Honor Award-winning graphic novel for young adults because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.
- George by Alex Gino
- Despite winning a Stonewall Award and a Lambda Literary Award, administrators removed this children’s novel because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels.”
- I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
- This children’s picture book memoir was challenged and removed because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints.
- Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
- Included on the National Book Award longlist and designated a Stonewall Honor Book, this young adult novel was challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content.
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- This 2006 Printz Award winner is a young adult novel that was challenged and restricted for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation.”
- Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
- Considered to be sexually explicit by library staff and administrators, this compilation of adult comic books by two prolific award-winning artists was banned and challenged.
- Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by Chuck Palahniuk
- This collection of adult short stories, which received positive reviews from Newsweek and the New York Times, was challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive.”
- Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
- This children’s book series was challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author.
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
- One of seven New York Times Notable Children’s Books and a Printz Honor recipient, this young adult novel was challenged for offensive language.
Banned and Challenged Classics
Below is a list of the 25 most banned and challenged classics. For more, please visit http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/classics
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
- As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
- A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
- Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- Native Son, by Richard Wright
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
- ALA Freedom to Read Statement: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/statementspols/freedomreadstatement
- Banned Books Week Website: http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/
- Banned and Challenged Classics: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/classics
- Frequently Challenged Books by Year: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks
- JMRL Policy: http://www.jmrl.org/ab-policy.htm
- Includes materials selection policy and the ALA Freedom to Read Statement
- Many free eBooks, including many banned classics, can be found in full-text version here.